A go-ahead, 52-yard field goal by kicker Matt Prater with 1:35 remaining proved to be the difference for the Lions. Detroit (6-4) won its third consecutive game and improved to 4-1 on the road.
Chicago (3-7) dropped its third game in a row and lost to Detroit for the eighth time in the past nine meetings.
After a scoreless third quarter, the Lions made it 24-17 on a 27-yard field goal by Prater early in the fourth quarter.
Chicago evened the score at 24 with 5:02 to play. Rookie running back Tarik Cohen sprinted toward the left pylon and leaped over a defender for a 15-yard rushing touchdown.
Detroit scored three touchdowns in the second quarter to establish a 21-17 halftime lead.
The Lions' defense registered its fifth touchdown of the season to pull within 10-7 early in the second quarter. Cornerback DJ Hayden capitalized on a botched snap by the Bears to scoop and score on a 27-yard fumble return.
The Bears made it 17-7 on a 12-yard touchdown run by Howard with 8:30 to go in the second quarter.
Detroit responded with a pair of passing touchdowns to take the lead before the half. Stafford found Marvin Jones Jr. for a 28-yard touchdown and running back Ameer Abdullah for a 2-yard touchdown to erase the double-digit deficit.
Chicago scored on its first two possessions to grab a 10-0 lead at the end of the first quarter. Tight end Adam Shaheen notched the game's first touchdown when he hauled in a 1-yard pass from Trubisky in the right corner of the end zone.
NOTES: Bears LB Leonard Floyd was carted off the field after he injured his right knee early in the fourth quarter. ... Lions DE Ezekiel Ansah was inactive for the second week in a row because of a back injury. He ranks second on the team with four sacks in eight games. ... Bears LB Danny Trevathan (calf), TE Dion Sims (illness) and CB Bryce Callahan (knee) were inactive. ... Lions S Glover Quin started his 126th straight game, which is the longest active streak among safeties. ... Bears WR Joshua Bellamy was placed in the league's concussion protocol after he was injured in the third quarter.