After the Bears’ 28-10 victory over the Minnesota Vikings, there are a few standouts that will contend for the Week 12 Game Ball. Let’s see the nominees:
Cutler came back after missing the 49ers game with a concussion to lead the Bears offense and bring back a little edge and attitude. His numbers aren’t eye-popping, just 23 of 31 for 188 and a touchdown to go with an interception, but they got the job done. Cutler showed Bears fans what was missing with his leadership, pocket presence and swagger. Sure, he drew a dumb unsportsmanlike penalty for taunting a Vikings defender when he scrambled for a first down, but he also tied teammate J’Marcus Webb’s shoe to try to keep the offense moving without burning a timeout. It didn’t work out as they used a time out anyway, but it shows how far the two have come after “the shove” in Week 2′s loss at Green Bay.
Brandon Marshall is on pace to destroy all Chicago Bears receiving records in his first season with the team. He knew midway through the third quarter that he had surpassed 1000 yards receiving for the season, a feat not achieved since Marty Booker did it in 2002. I am not sure if that speaks to the quarterbacks, the wide receivers or both in the last decade of Bears football. It’s pitiful to think that in today’s NFL, the Bears haven’t been able to get a receiver reach that milestone in a 10-year span.
The Offensive Line
I nominated this group for the Milk Carton following the Bears’ embarrassing loss in San Francisco last week, so it’s only fitting to nominate them as a group for the Week 12 Game Ball. With two out of five new players to start the game, odds were against them to have a strong game against a solid Vikings defense. When you compound that with two injuries to their starting guards pressed subs Edwin Williams and the recently-demoted Gabe Carimi, who’d never played guard in his life, a one sack performance is stellar. There is still room for improvement, but it’s progress.
The New York Giants
On a day when the Bears moved themselves back into first place with a win over the Vikings, the New York Giants helped keep them there with a 38-10 beatdown of the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night. Now the Bears control their own destiny in the NFC North with the December 16th game vs the Packers in Chicago very likely to decide the division crown.
It’s funny that on a day when the Bears held the Vikings to just 10 points, I don’t have any Bears defenders on the list. I suppose that speaks to the team effort in shutting down the Vikings offense. That and the poor game plan by the Vikings.
So who’s your selection for the Week 12 Game Ball? Vote in the poll and post your comments.