Briggs committed an uncharacteristic error in the fourth quarter when he got flagged for unnecessary roughness for a late hit on Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford, who scrambled out of the pocket for a 4-yard gain on third down. Stafford was short of the first down, but the late-hit call extended the Lions drive. Three plays after the penalty, Stafford found Lions wide receiver Brian Robiskie for a 9-yard touchdown strike that cut the Bears’ lead to two points and appeared to swing all the momentum back to Detroit’s side.
Television replays appeared to show Briggs make little contact on the play as the Bears defender flew over the top of the quarterback as Stafford hit the ground.
“I thought I slid over the top of Stafford,” Briggs said. “I understand you want to protect quarterbacks. It was a third down, a critical situation where he is trying to get a first down and I’m trying to stop him from getting a first down. He was still running and he went down as soon as I started to lunge at him. I have no problem flying over the top of him but the referee apparently didn’t see it that way.”