Relax, Bears fans. I applaud Chicago's resiliency and its opportunistic style of play against the more talented Packers. The Bears made the most of what they had to work with Monday night. But I still can't see Chicago keeping this kind of mojo going throughout the season, looking downright outmatched in some parts of every game, but still finding a way to win. It happened against Detroit, in Chicago's shaky second half. It happened at Dallas, where the Bears started the game looking overmatched on the offensive line. And it happened against Green Bay, a team that dominated Chicago statistically for most of the night.
But at 3-0, the Bears look to be in pretty good shape for turning this streak into an even longer run. In the next six weeks, Chicago plays at the Giants, at Carolina, Seattle, Washington and at Buffalo, with a bye thrown in, as well. That's the makings of a 7-1 first half, maybe 6-2 in a worst-case scenario. The Bears don't face another NFC North foe until Week 10, when Minnesota visits. Lucky may be prevailing over good right now in Chicago, but I have a feeling the Bears will take it and offer no apologies.
On top of all the penalties and missed interceptions, Green Bay's special teams contributed mightily to the loss. Chicago blocked one Packers field goal attempt, and both Bears touchdowns were either set up by or scored by punt returner
I'm not sure why Green Bay even gambled and kicked to Hester, but he burned the club, big time, twice. His 28-yard return in the second quarter seemed to rejuvenate the struggling Bears, and set up a 9-yard Cutler scoring pass to tight end
"(Eighteen) penalties, that doesn't cut it,'' Packers head coach
Not winning football, at least. If the Packers are to fulfill their potential this season, Monday night's meltdown has to provide a reminder their own mistakes might be the greatest enemy they'll face this year.
But that sure looked like the old, careless Cutler against Green Bay. The Bears quarterback sailed some passes, missed some easy throws and took several unnecessary risks. By his own admission, he didn't play anywhere near his best game in finishing 16 of 27 for 221 yards, with one touchdown and one interception.
But thanks to the sloppy Packers, Cutler didn't wind up paying for most of his mistakes. Cutler had some very pretty throws -- his 21-yard completion to Olsen on 2nd-and-20 in the fourth quarter was a thing of beauty -- and made some big plays when in clutch moments. But you can't live that dangerously every week in the NFL and survive. At the minimum, he threw three passes that should have resulted in Green Bay interceptions, and that would have been enough to get him beat on most nights. It was last season, when he led the NFL with 26 interceptions.
Despite some obvious strides at making better decisions, Cutler remains a work in progress in new coordinator
Green Bay knew Peppers had to be accounted for on every play, and he gave Packers tackles
Entering Week 3, Peppers had totaled just one tackle, one sack (of Detroit's
Other than that, the running games were mostly an afterthought. Green Bay, clearly missing the injured
The Bears got just 29 yards on 11 carries from
On offense, both the Packers and Bears will apparently go as far as their passing games this season. Neither team has threatened anyone on the ground so far in 2010.