The Chicago Bears are 3-0. I know it’s still early in the year, but this team has the potential to be very good.
The Bears forced five turnovers Sunday night, a big part of why they came away with the 40-23 victory. It looked like the game was wrapped up early, with the halftime score in the Bears’ favor. The Steelers charged back and looked like the Steelers of old, at least for a small period of time. An Antonio Brown touchdown cut the Bears’ lead to 27-20, but they could only muster a field goal after that. Brown had nine receptions for 196 yards and two touchdowns on the night, his last being an extremely acrobatic one-handed snag. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw for 406 yards and two touchdowns, but he was picked off twice.
One play that sticks out in my mind is a play that included something that has not been seen from Jay Cutler. Facing a third down deep in the Bears’ own territory, the quarterback escaped pressure and ran for a 13-yard gain. Instead of running out of bounds or sliding, he laid in to Steelers’ safety Robert Golden. Not only is the fact Cutler actually escaped pressure emblematic of the new and improved offensive line, but he went shoulder first instead of just sliding on the ground. As much as people think he does not care, the man would not risk his body like that if he didn’t care.
He also threw a 41-yard beauty to receiver Brandon Marshall, who had a quiet night aside from that. Marshall had five receptions for 42 yards. The play that just about clinched the game, however, was Cutler’s touchdown pass to Earl Bennett, who had enough body control to maintain possession and keep both feet in bounds for the score. He had a quiet night as well, with 22 yards and a touchdowns on just two receptions.
Chicago Bears’ defense was the key to victory
As I mentioned earlier, the Bears forced five turnovers from Big Ben and the Steelers Sunday night. Although the offense made some clutch plays in key moments, it was the defense that set up most of the scoring opportunities. Running back Matt Forte benefited from linebacker D.J. Williams‘ strip early in the game, as he waltzed in the end zone from five yards out to give the Bears a 10-0 lead.
Wright gave the Bears a 21-point lead after picking off Roethlisberger, and the safety also jarred the ball loose from running back Felix Jones, which led to a field goal. Roethlisberger was also stripped by Bears’ linebacker Lance Briggs, and the ball was picked up by defensive end Julius Peppers who returned it for the final score of the night.
This defense will miss retired linebacker Brian Urlacher, but they have showed resiliency and picked up the slack in areas where it was necessary to help get the Bears to 3-0.
The Bears return to NFC North play next weekend to play the Detroit Lions, and the Steelers head to London to take on the Vikings, both teams looking for their first win of the year.