Jim Schwartz awards Ford Field fans a game ball

Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz has awarded a game ball from Monday night’s 24-13 victory over the Chicago Bears to the Ford Field fans.

It was as loud as any domed stadium I’ve been in the past several years, and the crowd noise was a contributing factor to nine false starts by the Bears – eight on their offense. The Bears were called for six false starts in the first half, an NFL record according to Stats LLC. The crowd of 67,861 was the largest for a Lions game at the stadium.

“We had game balls given out this week, coach Schwartz even gave the fans a game ball,” Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford said, according to the Detroit Free-Press. “He’s going to have one painted up at Ford Field. They did a heck of a job.”

The Lions are working to find a location in the stadium to have a mural of a game ball.

“They, obviously, did have an impact (Monday). It’s not just a notion, it’s not just an idea," Schwartz said. "Proof is in the pudding. It’s one thing to be loud, it’s another thing to affect the game, and I think that was obvious to anybody that was in that stadium. I don’t know about people that watched it on TV, but if you were there, you felt it, and we need a lot more days like that.”

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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