PONTIAC, MICH., DEC. 16 -- Rodney Peete threw for career highs of 316 yards and four touchdowns tonight as the Detroit Lions beat the Bears, 38-21, putting a serious dent in Chicago's chance for a first-round bye in the playoffs.
The Bears (10-4), who last week lost to the Redskins, fell a game behind the New York Giants (11-3) in the NFC race for second-best record behind the 49ers (12-1 entering Monday night's game with the Rams). Chicago needs to win its remaining games while the Giants must lose both of theirs for the Bears to avoid playing a wild-card team in the first round.
Peete completed 18 of 27 passes with two interceptions as the Lions (5-9) avenged a 23-17 overtime loss at Soldier Field two weeks ago.
"I think Rodney Peete has confidence," Detroit Coach Wayne Fontes said. "He's only played about 17 games in his two years. I've said all along that when he's healthy, Rodney Peete's my quarterback -- at this time."
In the second quarter, Peete threw a 20-yard scoring pass to Robert Clark, a 44-yarder to Richard Johnson and a one-yarder to Clark as the Lions overcame a 7-0 deficit to take a 21-7 halftime lead.
Peete threw to Terry Greer for a 68-yard touchdown in the third quarter as the Lions blew open the game.
Jim Harbaugh was just four of 11 for 28 yards for Chicago before leaving with a dislocated right shoulder on his fourth sack midway through the third quarter. The preliminary word is that he'll miss three weeks.
Bears rookie Mark Carrier made his NFC-high ninth interception, tying the club record set by Roosevelt Taylor in 1963.