Jay Cutler gets featured for the halftime report, because let’s face it, this game is all about Cutler’s return. Of course, it couldn’t come without some controversy. Cutler finished the first half going 13 of 19 with 1 TD and TWO interceptions, one of which went for a pick-6 touchdown.
The Bears started out with the ball and promptly marched right down the field only for Cutler to throw an end zone interception. This of course after the Bears committed the mandatory delay of game penalty. Hey, at least it wasn’t a wasted time out.
The Browns returned the Cutler interception, which was intended for Brandon Marshall and tipped into the waiting arms of Tashaun Gipson, who returned it 35 yards out to the Browns 27 yard line. The Browns took advantage and with a big 44 yard catch and run by Greg Little, and kicked a short 35 yard field goal.
The Bears offense responded and marched right back down the field, with Cutler going 3 for 3 on third downs on the drive. Down near the goal line, it looked like they got conservative and played it safe rather than cutting it loose into the end zone. The Bears settled for a field goal to tie it up at three apiece early in the second quarter.
Following a Zack Bowman interception of a Jason Campbell pass at their own 40 yard line, the Bears had to punt with about 10 minutes left in the quarter. It was the first time Adam Podlesh punted since the Vikings game a couple of Sundays ago.
The Bears had an awful sequence late in the second quarter. With 5:45 left in the quarter, the Bears faced a 4th and 1 from the Cleveland 24 yard line. Marc Trestman wanted to air out his Tresticles and go for it, despite trailing 10-3. Alshon Jeffery flinched and then came in motion, but he was flagged for a false start. No problem, right? Robbie Gould is money with a 46 yard field goal. Just one problem. Corey Wootton was flagged for holding and move the Bears back another 10 yards, forcing them to punt. So the Bears went from a possible touchdown opportunity to a punt in just a couple of short plays.
Of course, after the punt and holding the Browns to a three and out, the Bears marched the ball down and scored on a short Brandon Marshall touchdown against Joe Haden. The play was set up by a leaping Marshall grab over Haden for 41 yards.
The Browns rush defense is proving to be legit, holding Matt Forte and the Bears running game to just 57 yards total. Give credit to the Bears defense or call out the Browns game planning, because neither Josh Gordon nor Jordan Cameron had a first half catch and were only targeted once combined. The Browns rushing game was pretty pedestrian, with only 36 rushing yards total. Could the Bears snap their streak of 100 yard rushers at 6?
Second Half To Do List:
Keep doing what you’re doing on defense. The Browns haven’t been able to get much of anything going and Cameron and Gordon without a catch.
Calm Jay down. He’s had the ball sailing on him all half, which led directly to the pick-6.
Keep chipping away with Forte. He’s shown flashes and could break one against the tough Browns defense. And while we’re talking about the running game, scrap that Alshon Jeffery end around. No one’s buying it anymore.