The Carolina Panthers were winning for three and a half quarters. They would've won, could have won, and should have won. Yet, the Chicago Bears defense showed off more late game heroics to spur the Bears onto victory. When the offense did everything it could to loose the game, the Bears defense and Tim Jennings, did what it needed to in order to the win game.
So, Jay Cutler owes his teammates big. I'd say a dinner at Michael Jordan's Steakhouse is in order. Seems fair, right? Defense keeps the Bears in first place in the central division, and as a reward the offense buys them a steak dinner. It's the least they could do since they never really seemed interested in winning.
If you look at the stats Carolina won the football game, because everything was in their favor. Yardage, time of possession, plays and turnovers. The Bears had no business winning this game, but they did, to everyone's surprise. Especially mine considering I left the bar assuming all was lost. Oops.
After two weeks of the good Cutler, Bears fans saw the return of the bad Cutler. He made costly turnovers, and took too much time in the pocket which led to sacks. The rest of the offense didn't have much success either, and struggled to amass 100 total yards through three quarters. Lucky for them, Cam Newton made more mistakes, oh and the fourth quarter happened.
Chicago failed to get anything going on offense, but managed outscore Carolina 16-3 in the fourth in route to a 6-1 record, but this was harder than it should have been.
The defense held strong for much of the contest as they limited the Panthers to five field goals, and one touchdown that they were lucky to recover after Major Wright knocked the ball out of a diving Newton's hands at the one yard line. However, the offense failed to score points as the Carolina defense seemed to be impenetrable.
With six sacks, an interception and two fumble recoveries the Panthers had the contest well in hand. Even with the late Bears touchdown pass from Cutler to tight end Kellen Davis Carolina still had a five point lead. However, it didn't take long for the defense to step in, and like they have all season long, make the big play when the team needs it. Once again it was Tim Jennings who grabbed his second interception of the game, and ran it back for the pick six to put Chicago in front.
While it still came down to a last second field goal from Robbie Gould, the turnover gave the Bears, and Cutler new life while taking the wind out of the Panthers' sails. The game was over as soon as Jennings crossed the goal line.
Just like in previous games it has been up to the defensive unit to make a play, and they seem to have no problem accepting the challenge. It could have been a year in which Cutler and the offense took center stage, but to no one's surprise it is guys such as Brian Urlacher, Julius Peppers and Jennings who are the keys to the Bears recent success.
As a result the offense takes a back seat, and on Sunday it wasn't until the defense stepped in that Cutler decided to play the way fans know he is capable of.
Up next is a Tennessee Titans team coming of Sunday's overtime loss to Indianapolis. While teams have had success on offense against the Titans defense, like the Bills did a week ago when they put up 35, the Bears will head into next week feeling like winners, but looking like losers.
Hopefully Lovie Smith has the offense more prepared, and Cutler comes ready to play. Carolina served to teach the entire team a lesson. Cutler seemed taken by surprise by Carolina, but next week the Bears can't afford to see another bad Cutler sighting.
Cutler only has to worry about staying mistake free, and letting the defense make the big plays.
It looks like Chicago fans are in for more excitement, and another wild season if things continue this way.
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