The Bears controlled the first half with big plays and flawless exectution. Extra support on the offensive line improved Cutler’s confidence to make big plays. Forte, always a contributor, ran for 87 yards; Dane Santzenbacher, the rookie from Ohio State, scored 6. Hester ran for 91 yards and 12 points. Gould kicked a nail-biting 51-yard field goal right before the half, 3/3 for the game—reliable as ever.
Urlahcer and Briggs were cool and collected against the Vikings. They held the line, forced a safety and made some big plays. The Chicago defense were clearly unified and committed to holding an impenetrable line of scrimmage. Vikings struggled to make the third-down conversion.
The Bears came out swinging tonight with something to prove. That energy makes for an exciting game. At the half, it looked like a blow-out; the Bears led 26-3. At the start of the second half the Bears seemed a little too hyped up. Vikings broke through the o-line for the first time and got a turnover. The defense was ruthless protecting the endzone, but they kept the drive alive with a two-posession game.
Once they settled in to the third quarter, Devin Hester brought them to their feet with another kick return. Peppers followed up with two sacks, squelching McNabb’s momentum. Okoye and Indonije added a sack of their own before sending the Vikes packing tonight.
With a comfortable buffer in the score, the Bears commanded the field. The Vikings brought Christian Ponder in to replace McNabb when they sunk to a 29-point deficit. It didn’t make a difference. Eventually, Chicago brought the house down with a 39-10 win over the Vikings.
Looking forward, the schedule isn’t going to get easier, and the Bears owe it to themselves to play like they did tonight at every match-up. They don’t lack ability; their performance was stunning and showed off solid mechanics.
Cutler will need to continue to read the field and make the play, consistently. The o-line has to secure the pocket long enough for Cutler to make the play. The offensive unit needs to anticipate their defensive opponents, communicate and execute. They showed today that they are capable, now it’s time to repeat performance.
The defense needs to protect the line and remain unified. They have depth in talent and coverage; they create the play when they’re organized with two Safeties deep. They need to build up some confidence and hit their opponent hard. Chicago fans want and expect ruthless, bone-crushing defense. When they find a groove, they can be unstoppable.
Hester continues to be Chicago’s not-so-secret weapon, but for being so obvious he continues to achieve. His talent is so awe-inspiring to fans, they expect him to run one back every time he touches the ball. The stadium gasps in anticipation as he streams down the field. You can’t help but to glue your eyes to his figure as it darts towards the endzone.
The Bears have one more game before the bye. They will challenge the Bucs overseas inLondon next week before their break. They have to hit the ground running when they return to meet the mounting competition for a spot in post-season play-offs.