There are plenty of game balls to go around. The offensive line didn’t allow a sack. Jay Cutler was money in the 4th quarter. Peanut Tillman had two picks. Robbie Gould’s 58 yard field goal, a career long, was the difference in the ball game. Despite a team performance, just as Lance Briggs did, the 4th Phase will give the game ball goes to Coach Marc Trestman.
Trestman earned his first win as a NFL coach after spending the last five years in the CFL and one year in college football. When the Bears hired him this offseason, he was relatively unknown by most fans but very much revered by coaches and former players. I know it’s only one game but it looks like Phil Emery found a diamond in the rough.
The Bears were out-gained by the Bengals 325-97 in the first half. The Bears were losing at the line of scrimmage and were outplayed on both sides of the ball. Trestman did introduce a variety of formations and personnel and Cutler was given more flexibility to make call at the line of scrimmage so at least there was hope. To get back in the game, Trestman was going to make second half adjustments.
After the half, the Bengals opened the third quarter with an 80 yard drive for a touchdown to give them a 21-10 lead. In seasons past, a come-from-behind victory usually came in the form of a forced fumble or interception for a touchdown or a miraculous Devin Hester return and rarely the result of the offense. Not this time. Cutler led the offense on their own 80 yard drive to answer and cut the Bengals lead to four.
In the fourth quarter, the defense forced another turnover and the Bears were able to strike again with the go ahead touchdown. After taking the lead, the defense was able to step up when it really counted and shut the Bengals down and the offense was able to play keep away to clinch the win.
The Bears’ comeback victory is a result of the second half adjustments made by Trestman and coaching staff. Trestman joined Hall of Famer George Halas (1920), Neill Armstrong (1978) and Dick Jauron (1999) as the only Bears head coaches to win their first game. Bear Down!