The Bears gave their fans an early Christmas present with a 28-13 win over the Arizona Cardinals to keep their playoff hopes alive. It wasn’t pretty for the offense, as Jay Cutler was inconsistent early but the opportunistic Bears defense made a return with an early touchdown to set the stage for a dominant defensive performance against the struggling Cardinals offense.
Pinned deep in their own end, Beanie Wells fumbled the ball near the goal line and Zac Bowman scooped the ball up and rolled into the end zone to stake the Bears to an early 7-0 lead. The Cardinals looked like they might try to make a game of it as they marched a couple of drives later to kick a field goal to close the margin to 7-3.
Jay Cutler, Matt Forte and Brandon Marshall took over late in the first quarter and start of the second to help the Bears open up their lead. Forte had a nice 36 yard run to key the drive and Brandon Marshall notched a big 30 yard catch to set up a short Matt Forte TD run.
Following a Cardinals FG on a short field thanks to a muffed punt by DJ Moore, the Bears added another TD with a well executed 2-minute drill. Cutler hit Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, Forte and Earl Bennett to move the ball down the field before hooking up with Brandon for a 15 yard score with just seconds left in the half.
The Cardinals gave starter Ryan Lindley the hook midway through the third quarter as he tossed a short pick-6 to Charles Tillman, his third TD of the season. The rest of the way, it was academic, with the Cardinals adding a late special teams touchdown following a blocked Olindo Mare FG late in the 4th quarter.
More notes to follow, but for now, the Bears live to fight another day and keep us interested for a crucial Week 17 game vs the Lions in Detroit.