2-0 Chicago Bears
Awesome game yesterday. I had a bye week from soccer and it was the first time in a long time that I got a chance to go to a sports bar and watch my Bears play. My son is a Ravens fan and we were able to sit and watch the Bears and Ravens play at a local establishment. The Bears were in a back-and-forth battle all day. The game was filled with huge plays and tide-turning mistakes. The Vikings returned the opening kickoff 105 yards for a TD. Devin Hester had two really long (about 80 yard) kickoff returns and one that was about 50 yards (he set a record for most return yardage for a Chicago Bear). Tim Jennings got a huge pick-6, but Cutler gave one up with the Bears driving he fumbled and it got returned for a TD. The Bears had a first and goal on the 1 yard line and then called for a play action pass that got deflected and intercepted in the end zone, but then Cutler closed the final 3 minutes by driving the ball down for the winning TD pass to Bennett. Great game to watch because we won.
I like the Bears offense. There is a great mix of shots down the field with short passes. I haven't looked at the stats, but there were a lot more 3rd and 5 plays than 3rd and 10 plus plays. The Bears have a lot of manageable 3rd downs that they have to deal with but when they get them and keep drives alive it saps some of the energy from the opposing team. The offensive line is playing very, very well. The pass protection is there, but so are the running lanes. There is great balance with the play calling and the key players are making plays. Marshall had another 100 yard receiving day. Bennett got 75 yards and 2 TDs. Forte rushed for 90 yards and got another 70 receiving. Jeffery and Earl Bennett also had key catches. In fact, the Bears offense moved the ball pretty well most of the day. If not for the two first half turnovers that I mentioned above, the Bears may have cruised to victory.
The defense is solid. They got sacks and they largely controlled AP. He ripped off one 36 yard run, but other than that he was held in check. The Bears also got the pick-6 and bailed out the offense after a Forte fumble in Chicago territory and after a second Cutler interception.
The Bears go on the road to Pittsburgh. To me, that is a game I expect the Bears to win. Fantastic start against solid competition, but they just have to keep it going.