CHICAGO — Calvin Johnson saw the defensive coverage. Same for Matthew Stafford. They knew exactly what to do.
The result was a franchise record for one of the NFL's best wide receivers and a big win for the Detroit Lions.
Johnson caught a 14-yard touchdown pass from Stafford with 2 minutes, 22 seconds to go, helping the Lions edge Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears 21-19 on Sunday in a key matchup of NFC North rivals.
"I knew immediately that one of us on the outside was going to get it," Johnson said. "So I just wanted to work, be patient and he threw a great ball."
Johnson also had a tiebreaking TD reception in the third quarter and Reggie Bush rushed for 105 yards as Detroit (6-3) swept the season series against Chicago (5-4) for the first time since the 2007 season.
When Green Bay lost 27-13 to Philadelphia, the Lions were all alone in first in the division for the first time since the end of Week 5 of the 2005 season, according to STATS.
"We came out with a victory on the road against a really tough team," Detroit coach Jim Schwartz said. "It was a hard-fought win. Proud of the players, but that's the only thing that means (anything) today.
"I mean first place, you don't get any prizes for first place there nine games into the season."
Johnson's ninth touchdown grab of the season was the 63rd of his career, breaking a tie with Herman Moore for the Detroit record. Moore still leads with 670 career receptions for the Lions, but Johnson might take that record down at some point, too.
"To be a part of history for the Lions, that's a big deal," Johnson said.
Johnson, playing in his 100th game, has 8,740 yards receiving, the second-most in NFL history in a player's first 100 games. Johnson trails Hall of Famer Lance Alworth who had 9,019.