Bears Win Turnover Battle, Game 27-20

Last year he receives blame, this year he’s receiving accolades.

Did you see the Bears defensive pursuit? Make no doubt about it, these Bears are hungry.

After all, you figure they would be after all the negative publicity this Summer.  Consider Jay Cutler, who gets abused unlike any other QB in the media.  Oh, and he’s not the only area of attack, as the defense is constantly getting ripped apart to pieces.  Statement game?  Answering the critics?  I believe so.  These Bears are awake.  Out from hibernation.

Right from the start you could see both teams desire to emphasize the pass rush.  And they did just that, acting upon their desire.  Early on neither QB could get a moment to breathe and survey the field.  The blitzes were fierce, often, and utilized extensively on both Cutler and Romo.  They were under heavy pressure, the heat was turned up, until one QB found a way to defeat it.

Following a Dez Bryant punt return that went the distance to make it 7-3 Dallas, the Cowboys proceeded to pooch the ensuing kickoff to the Bears 42.  Bad decision.  Two plays later, Cutler found Hester for a 19-yard completion, more yards than he had against Detroit in Week 1.  After that came the biggest play of the game.  Cutler found a way to beat the aggressive pass rush; he became aggressive, beating aggressiveness with his own aggressiveness.  With starting left tackle Chris Williams out with a hamstring injury, he had to do something to avoid DeMarcus Ware and crew.  So, on 1st and 10 from the Dallas 39 he got rid of the ball quickly.  The result, a 39-yard touchdown strike to TE Greg Olsen.  It happened in a blink of an eye, the super quick decision to get rid of the ball right away was worth more than just six points, it was a momentum changer, a game changer, and it gave Cutler a chance to stay in the game.  Without that play Cutler could have been out, maybe for the game, or even the season.

Up until that point Cutler had been getting thrown around like a ragged doll, and it was apparent something needed to be done, and it certainly was.  The play not only opened up the offense, but it forced Dallas to rethink their plan of attack.  Mike Martz’s method of offense could be defined as madness, but on this day his game plan was just short of flawless.  You could finally understand the reasoning behind Lovie Smith’s decision to bring his former boss to the Windy City.  Reunited and it feels so good…

Despite going 1-11 on 3rd downs, gaining just two yards per rush, and holding the ball for seven minutes less than Dallas, the offense looked so crisp and precise it was almost reminiscent of Cutler’s days in Denver.  Yet no stat or analogy could tell the story more than this one: Bears 0, Cowboys 3.  That was the tale of the tape, the turnover margin.  D.J. Moore had two picks, and held up Roy Williams long enough to let Charles Tillman jar the ball loose for Brian Urlacher to recover midway 4th quarter up 27-17.  That was the game.  You could tell the Bears were hungry, and on this day, they could no longer starve, they would not avoid their appetite any longer.  What a way to respond to hunger, yes,  the best response to hunger -a victory on the road against a legitimate NFC contender.  Raise your hand if you saw this coming.  I didn’t.  Make no doubt about it, these Bears are hungry -this is what happens when you don’t perform up to expectations.  Now, they are showing up to feast with an empty stomach.   Let’s see if they can hold their appetites again throughout the next week for a feast Monday night.

Up Next: 2-0 Green Bay Packers, Soldier Field, Monday Night.

Nothing else needs to be said.

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