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.
It’s time to get to my favorite game of the 2012 season, Bears at Titans. Except by the crowd, you wouldn’t be so sure it was a road game. I was at this game. By kickoff, it was 50% Bears fans. By the second half, it was 80% Bears fans. By the end of the game, it was Soldier Field South.
On the first play from scrimmage, bald quarterback Matt Hasselbeck hit a wide open Kenny Britt across the middle for about 20 yards. Charles Tillman immediately punched the ball out, and the Bears recovered. That play set the tone for a turnover happy game.
The first touchdown of the game came on a blocked punt. Sherrick McManis came storming off the right side and blocked the ball into the arms of Corey Wootten for a 5 yard special teams touchdown.
The Titans answered with a safety on a J’Marcus Webb an illegal hands penalty in the end zone to cut it to 7-2. But the Bears would then score again on a Matt Forte touchdown run set up by a wonderful Devin Hester return. Then came the play of the game. On the Titan’s ensuing drive, Matt Hasselbeck threw the ball across the middle into the arms of Brian Urlacher, who returned it 46 yards for a Bears touchdown. Here is the clip:
The Bears now had a 19 point lead. It was the seventh Bears interception return touchdown of the year. On the Titan’s next drive, Charles Tillman forced a Chris Johnson fumble and safety Chris Conte recovered at the seventeen. The Bears then scored on a fourteen yard Marshall Cutler connection. 28 points, 1 quarter. Teams traded field goals in the second quarter and the Bears led 31-5 at the half.
In the third quarter, the Titans finally got on the board on a Nate Robinson touchdown from Matt Hasselbeck. But the Bears themselves scored two field goals this quarter, and went into the fourth up 37-12. Early in the fourth, Jay Cutler threw a bomb to Marshall for a 39 yard touchdown. It was Marshall’s second receiving touchdown and Cutler’s second passing touchdown.
On the Titan’s next drive, Charles Tillman forced his fourth fumble of the game, and the Bears recovered in the Titan red zone. Cutler and Marshall than connected for a touchdown a third time. Bears 51, Titans 12. An 80 yard Chris Johnson touchdown against the Bears JV team padded the guy’s stats, but didn’t help the Titans. Armando Allen ran out the clock and the Bears won, 51-20.
This game was almost perfect. There are three single MVP honors winners. Brandon Marshall earns MVP honors for his three touchdowns and nine catches. Charles Tillman’s four forced fumbles earns him defensive MVP honors. Lastly, Matt Forte earns MVP honors for his 103 yards on only 12 carries. But the real MVP’s of this game were the defensive players. The defensive unit shut the Titans down with five turnovers and held them to 339 yards, and that includes the 80 yard touchdown. This was an epic route. Check out the complete game box score here.
Things to learn
Creating turnovers leads to winning games. The Bears did just that in this contest. There is nothing better than a dominant defense in the NFL.
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