Bears 39-10 Victory Over Vikings

The Chicago Bears achieved a much needed win with a 39-10 victory over the Minnesota Vikings.

I love Devin Hester. There, I said it. Every time he touches the ball, I think he is going to score a touchdown. And he was up to his old tricks again on Sunday night. Hester returned a kickoff 98 yards and propelled the Bears to victory. Not only was Hester a factor in his typical role as the return man, but he made his presence felt in the receiving game as well. He left the field in the fourth quarter with what is being reported as a chest injury.

Jay Cutler hit Devin Hester on the third play from scrimmage on a 45 yard strike down the middle of the field for a touchdown. It wasn’t surprising how strong and accurate Cutler’s throw was, but rather the fact that he had enough time to get the throw away. The Bears consistently left a tight end (or two) in to help protect Cutler from the Viking’s speedy pass rush.

After the debacle last Monday night in Detroit, the Bears offensive line gave Cutler time to throw all night and created wide running lanes for Matt Forte. The offensive line has been, well, offensive. They have allowed 18 sacks through the first five games which ranks 30th in the NFL and often leaving Cutler scrambling for his life.

Cutler has now played as many games with the Bears as he did with the Denver Broncos; however, Cutler has been sacked more the twice as many times playing for the Bears as he did with Denver. And it wouldn’t be a Bears’ game if there wasn’t a slew of false start penalties, however the offensive line did a tremendous job at protecting Cutler and allowing him to find open receivers. There was even a Roy Williams sighting. Glad to see he still has a pulse.

Just as nearly every previous week this season, Bears Coach Lovie Smith started a different combination of offensive linemen. Frank Omiyale was replaced by Lance Louis at right tackle and the line took the heat off Cutler and themselves for at least another week. Smith also made the decision on Thursday to bench former All-Pro safety Chris Harris and two time Pro Bowl safety Brandon Meriweather in favor for rookie Chris Conte and second year player Major Wright. Safety has been one of the many glaring weaknesses for the Bears this season and this was clearly a move to light a fire under his veterans.  The move paid off as for the first time in weeks, the Bears’ safeties didn’t get beat on a deep ball.

But the story was the play of the offensive line. All week, Mike Martz talked about getting Jay Cutler more protection, a subject that his quarterback commented on as well.

Cutler said Wednesday, “I don’t really want to be under pressure a lot. Physically, [the pressure is] not that big of a deal. Mentally, it just speeds up my clock. It just makes me uneasy in the pocket. Psychologically and mentally [it's more an issue] than anything [else]. I just don’t want to take a sack, just [want to] try to get rid of the ball as fast as possible.”

Not necessarily what you want to hear from your star quarterback, but you have to appreciate the honesty. On Sunday night, Bears fans saw glimpses of what they envisioned when the Bears traded for Cutler. They saw a quarterback with a rocket arm, when given time to throw, can thread a needle with a bullet pass like he did to Dane Sanzenbacher for a 13 yard touchdown in the second quarter.  Hopefully, that sight becomes the norm, and not the exception.  Cutler threw for 267 yards and two touchdowns and no interceptions.

As a side note, for the second time in three weeks, a former Chicago Bear player has returned to patrol the opposing sidelines. In week 4, Ron Rivera led the Carolina Panthers to a defeat at the hands of his former team. Tonight, Leslie Frazier (who led the 1985 Bears with 6 interceptions) and Mike Singletary (who was my favorite player growing up) returned to Soldier Field only to realize the same fate. It is great to see so many former Bears having success in the coaching ranks.  I give all the credit to Mike Ditka. Who would win in a fight, Ditka or God? (A: Trick question – Ditka is God.)

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