Jay Cutler threw two interceptions and lost one fumble. Matt Forte lost a fumble. The Vikings scored 30 points, including returning the opening kick for a touchdown, and a touchdown off a recovered fumble. Adrian Peterson ran for 100 yards. Who do you think won this game?
On an afternoon when I was about as frustrated with FOX’s inability to keep the game on as I was with the Bears’ gaffes and blunders, I never would have guessed I’d be writing about a 31-30 Bears victory. But in spite of everything I mentioned at the top of this post, the Bears are now undefeated and sit alone atop the NFC North. So how did this happen?
Although it was a close game on the scoreboard, it wasn’t as close as it seemed. A lot of the Vikings scores came off of either poor decision making or faulty execution by the Bears, issues that can easily be corrected as they become more comfortable in this new offense. One of Cutler’s interceptions could have very easily been a Brandon Marshall touchdown, who appeared wide open – and one could have been a Martellus Bennet touchdown, had it not been deflected at the line. The one interception Cutler threw last week was the result of being hit on the arm while in his throwing motion.
But what stood out to me in Week 2, was Jay Cutler’s ability to lead the team down the field in the first quarter while trailing and score the game winning touchdown. That is the guy you want under center. And no, I’m not seriously making the comparison, but this is why I was never worried in the 90’s when the Bulls were down in the 4th quarter. Because I knew we had someone who could bring us back, or at least give us a really good shot. If Cutler can be that guy – that guy that even when the Bears are down, teams can’t relax because Cutler can drive the field in under two minutes and get in the endzone – then the Bears are a very, very dangerous team. So other than Cutler’s ability to overcome deficit and win the game two weeks in a row, what else stood out to me?
– Matt Forte continues to look great. Remaining patient, finding his holes, turning on the jets in the open field. Forte went for a combined 161 years rushing/receiving combined. With so much attention on how Jay Cutler would adapt to the new offense, it appears that Matt Forte is benefiting from it most.
– Even without Lovie Smith on the sidelines, the Bears are still kings of the takeaway. Two interceptions, and two forced fumbles – one from Adrian Peterson who holds the ball like glue – and one in the closing seconds on a kick return which sealed the game.
– Martellus Bennet is getting more and more comfortable with Cutler, and made the two biggest plays in the game winning drive, including the touchdown. That and the INCREDIBLE one handed catch he made in the back of the endzone that got called out of bounds, which he should have been awarded some kind of points for. But another big target that is not named Brandon Marshall is a huge get for Chicago.
-Hester’s still got it. He averaged 50 yards/return, including one 80 yard return. Only a matter of time before he brings one all the way back and solidifies his place as the greatest ever.
Up Next: Pittsburgh Steelers
Coming off a HORRIBLE Week 1 loss to the Titans, the Steelers looked a far cry from the dominant team they once were. And with James Harrison a Bengal now and injuries stacking up, things are not looking too good for the Steelers, who play the Bengals on Monday night. Unless they show a whole lot of improvement this week against a strong Bengals team, this could be third straight win for Chicago – the key will be not beating themselves. Meaning better special teams defense, limit turn overs, take advantage of their opportunities on offense. I thought the Vikings game would be an easy win but it was anything but. So they need to take another step forward going into a tough Sunday night game – and remember, Jay Cutler has not played well on the national stage.