DETROIT -- Jay Cutler threw for 257 yards and a touchdown and helped seal the game with a late scramble, and the Chicago Bears kept their playoff hopes alive -- briefly -- with a 26-24 win over the Detroit Lions on Sunday.
Chicago (10-6) still needed a Minnesota Vikings loss to the Green Bay Packers to reach the postseason, but the Vikings beat the Packers, 37-34, to claim the NFC's final wild-card spot. The win by the Bears eliminated the defending champion New York Giants from the playoff picture.
The Lions (4-12) lost their last eight games and turned the ball over four times in the finale. Calvin Johnson fell short in his attempt to become the first player with 2,000 yards receiving in a season.
Cutler's 19-yard run on third down helped Chicago run out the clock late in the fourth quarter.
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press
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