One of the most common lessons learned in life is that we must learn from our mistakes. The best way to go forward in life and football is to look back. We all learn from the past to build on the future. From now on, every week I will be giving you a retrospective look at every one of last season’s games until the start of the season.
Throughout most of this game, I thought there was no way the Bears could pull it out. They were losing for most of the day, and it looked the the offense wouldn’t get on track. However, skill and luck led the Bears to a marvelous comeback.
After two Carolina punts and a Jay Cutler interception, the Bears drew first blood on a 13-yard touchdown scamper. They remained relatively quiet for the rest of the half. Early in the second quarter, the craziest play of the game happened when Cam Newton tried to take it eight yards into the end zone. He was hit by Major Wright at the one and fumbled about 7 yards forward where Louis Murphy was there for the recovery and touchdown. 10-7 Panthers. Carolina added another field goal to go up six going into halftime.
For some reason, every time the Panthers scored, they would kick it short. The strategy may have worked, considering the Bears usually couldn’t capitilize on the prime field position. However, that would change after a 6-yard punt set up the Bears on the Panthers 38. After a few plays, Jay Cutler hit Kellen Davis in the end zone for a 12-yard touchdown. Yes, that Kellen Davis. The Bears were only down by 5. Enter Tim Jennings.
Very shortly after the touchdown, Cam Newton took a drop and fired it to his left side. It landed right into the hands of an awaiting Tim Jennings, who ran 25 yards for a Bears touchdown. It was the first of two plays of the game. Here is the clip: http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-game-highlights/0ap2000000086407/Tim-Jennings-pick-six-gives-Bears-the-lead
The Bears were up by 1 and after the conversion failed, Newton had a chance to be a hero with a little under 7 minutes left. And for a while, it looked like he would be. He connected on some good passes and made some solid runs that set up a Justin Medlock field goal. Medlock drilled it for the fifth time in the game, and the Panthers took a 22-20 lead.
Jay Cutler, who looked dead in the second and third quarter, did not want t0 lose this game. Neither did Brandon Marshall. On the game’s final drive, Cutler hit Marshall 4 times for 36 yards and set up a Robbie Gould field goal. It was good as time expired and the Bears won. Here’s play of the game number 2: http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-game-highlights/0ap2000000086423/Robbie-Gould-wins-it-with-41-yard-FG
Complete game boxscore: http://scores.espn.go.com/nfl/boxscore?gameId=321028003
What to take from this game:
Sometimes, relying on your biggest playmaker isn’t a bad thing. Brandon Marshall made some big catches in the clutch and he easily earns honors for this game’s MVP and the Bears won. However, more often than not, the team will not be this lucky. There was a lot of luck involved. The defense won’t always be there to save the offense, and Brandon Marshall won’t always be able to carry the team. Teams have found ways to shut him down, and when that happens, who does Jay have to throw to besides the ground or cornerbacks? The bears need to learn that Brandon Marshall isn’t the only player on the team.