DETROIT — Reggie Bush was worried about how his banged-up left knee would hold up in his return.
As it turned out, the Chicago Bears had plenty of concerns about the speedy, dual-threat running back they couldn’t slow down.
Bush’s 37-yard touchdown run helped Detroit score 27 points in the second quarter and he accounted for 173 yards of offense to help the Lions beat Chicago 40-32 Sunday.
“I was a little nervous,” Bush said of his knee after missing a game with the injury.
Detroit (3-1) moved into a first-place tie with Chicago (3-1) in the NFC North.
Bush had a season-high 139 yards rushing and a score on 18 carries, mostly up the middle as he took advantage of running lanes created against a line without defensive tackle Henry Melton.
“We felt like we could dominate the line of scrimmage in this game, especially after they lost a key player to injury,” he said.
The Lions scored 24 straight points, including three TDs in a span of 3 minutes, 26 seconds, after Matt Forte’s 53-yard TD run gave the Bears 10-6 lead early in the second quarter.
Detroit led 40-16 early in the fourth quarter and ended up needing that cushion.
Jay Cutler, who had four turnovers, threw a pair of touchdown passes and 2-point conversions in the final 4 minutes to pull Chicago within eight points. Lions receiver Kris Durham recovered the onside kick to seal the win.
“There are no moral victories, but I thought our guys played tough for the last 30 minutes of that game,” Chicago coach Mark Trestman said.
Detroit had a big lead to work with thanks to positive plays it got from each facet of the game.
Micheal Spurlock’s 57-yard punt return set up Matthew Stafford’s go-ahead TD with 6:09 left in the first half, when he recovered his own fumble on a 1-yard sneak. Stafford threw a 2-yard TD to Calvin Johnson on the Lions’ next possession, one play after safety Glover Quin returned Cutler’s second interception for 42 yards.