Four Downs before leaving Chicago, where a day earlier the Lions' 54th consecutive cursed season began with a 19-14 loss to the Bears ...

FIRST DOWN:

OK, so how do we interpret the Bears-Lions game from the Vikings perspective? First of all, the Vikings shouldn't lose to either team. But this is the NFL, so it could happen.

For starters, throw out Jay Cutler's 372 yards passing. He was awful for the most part, and 89 of his yards and one of his touchdowns came on a screen pass that Lions safety Louis Delmas flat-out didn't get over in time when he should have.

The Bears were crowing about their victory after the game when they should have been red-faced considering how they played. They turned the ball over four times and had nine penalties for 100 yards. Cutler was throwing balls too high and balls to where there were no receivers.

The Bears also got stopped four times on four consecutive runs from the Detroit 1-yard line. How Lovie Smith passed up the field goal that would have given the Bears the lead in the fourth quarter is beyond me. Feel free to explain it to me.

So, overall, Cutler looked like Cutler, the Bears' offensive line was average to below average and the receivers dropped some passes. Chester Taylor also wasn't much of a factor in his first game as a Bear.

Defensively, the Bears were better with Brian Urlacher back in the middle.

SECOND DOWN:

The Vikings have two new right ends to worry about in the NFC North.

Detroit's Kyle Vanden Bosch is a lot like Jared Allen in the fact his motor never, ever stops. Vanden Bosch had 11 tackles, 10 of them solo. He had two stops on that goal-line stand. He also brings a winning attitude to a team that desperately needs it.

On the other side, Chicago's $91.5 million man, Julius Peppers, was quiet for most of the game. But his one tackle was a sack that forced a fumble, led to a field goal and knocked Matthew Stafford out with an injured right shoulder.

To recap, that's one NFC North game, one tackle and one KO'd QB for Peppers.

THIRD DOWN:

Yeah, the Lions defense gave up two big plays for touchdowns. But overall, this is the best I've seen the Lions play defense in awhile. The new guys on the line -- Vanden Bosch and tackles Corey Williams and rookie Ndamukong Suh -- make a big difference. There are issues with talent, injuries and depth at linebacker, but overall the Lions should win some games with this defense.

The Lions won't be a pushover in two weeks at the Metrodome. Not with the way the Vikings' offense is sputtering.

FOURTH DOWN:

Shaun Hill probably will start against the Vikings in Week 3. Ironically, he also started against them in Week 3 at the Metrodome last year. He was the opposing QB when Favre's ESPY-winning last-second TD beat the 49ers. Before that pass, Hill was the hero, having thrown a 20-yard TD pass to Vernon Davis about 4 1/2 minutes before that.

Hill is a streaky player. He and the offense were horrible for most of the second half. They had 14 yards and one first down, but Hill completed four consecutive passes to four different receivers for 58 yards to set up what should have been the winning touchdown pass to Calvin Johnson.

As I wrote for this morning's paper, the referee made the right call on Johnson's incompletion in the end zone. I just think it's a ridiculous rule. Something needs to be done to correct it. Maybe give the referee more freedom to use common sense.

When a guy catches the ball, gets two feet down, a knee down, a butt down and still has possession, it should be a touchdown. Just because he lost the ball after rolling and planting the ball on the ground shouldn't negate what should have been a great play and a rare Lions win.

Of course, with the Lions' luck, would you expect anything different?