1) Jay Cutler Gets the Job Done
This is really 2 cheers, first that touchdown run that turned our franchise QB into a helicopter. When I saw that, I said “YES!! YES!! Is he hurt, don’t be hurt…don’t be hurt!…. YES!” I like to see some tenacity from Cutler, doing anything he can to get the score. Second, and most importantly I like the way Cutler can be a game manager. He can keep hitting the high percentage throws and not throw any interceptions while the defense shuts down the opposition. There will be games where he’ll have to sling it, but it’s great to see he can embrace his inner Kyle Orton. For the record… Jay Cutler is the first Bears quarterback since 1970 to have a 100-plus passer rating in three consecutive games.
If you don’t agree with Lovie Smith offseason statement that Marinelli was just as important an acquisition as Cutler, you’re insane. He has coached the Bears to lead the NFC in sacks with 14. They are on pace to double their 28 sacks last year. Not only that, but I’m seeing quarterbacks get flustered by our pass rush. The Stafford interception was caused by Mark Anderson rushing the quarterback and him trying to avoid a sack. The Lions allowed 5 sacks throughout 3 games before the Bears, and allowed 5 sacks Sunday.
3) Special Teams
Dave Toub, the Bears special team coordinator, is the best in the game. Perhaps the best ever. We had four returners in the game and all of them had great runs. Johnny Knox continued his streak of one great play a game with his 102 yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Whether it is Hester, Manning, or Knox the Bears find a way to score a touchdown on special teams every year. That’s not a mistake, that’s not luck, that’s Dave Toub.
1) 1st Half Defense
21 points allowed, including a 98-yard drive at the end of the half. Talk about pathetic. For four straight games, our 1st half performance has been bad. We need to get it together. I love the way we’ve adjusted in the second half but I’m still nervous about the way we’ve executed in the first half thus far this season.
2) Our Offense
Our defense and special teams gave us numerous short fields and we capitalized. But our offense didn’t look elite against a terrible Detroit squad. I expected more and I want more. It’s odd to score 48 points and be upset with the offense but I am. Cutler did enough to win and that’s what we needed, but I need to see more than that against the Falcons.
3) The Injuries
Thankfully, none of the injuries appear to be crippling. In order to win this division, we need to stay healthy. There’s not a whole lot you can do to avoid injury but I was definitely freaking out when I saw Devin Hester and Johnny Knox leave with injuries. Reports say that most everyone will be back to normal after the bye week.
No matter the good and bad, the cheers and jeers, seeing a three game win streak is great. At 3-1 the Bears are primed to take a playoff spot this year. If they keep playing this way, especially the way they do in the 2nd half, I see us going far. But for now the first quarter of the season is over and we’re winning.