Chicago Bears Week 4: Takeaways

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The Chicago Bears aren’t going 0-16! They finally got their first win of the season today defeating the Oakland Raiders 22-20 in a game that the Bears dominated in almost all aspects. They probably should have won this one easily, but some missed opportunities, a couple of turnovers, and some suspicious penalties from the referees kept this game closer than it should have been.

Things started well with a touchdown on the opening drive, but they were looking bleak for the Bears late in the 4th quarter after the Raiders converted a Cutler interception into a long drive ending in a field goal to take a 20-19 lead with just 2:03 left in the game. Cutler had played well before his ill-timed interception (aren’t they all) and took over with just over 2 minutes to go from the Bears own 20 yard line. After a shaky start to the drive Cutler converted a huge 4th down and then drove the Bears down the field into field goal range with 22 seconds to go. For some reason John Fox neglected to run any more plays, but it didn’t matter when Robbie Gould knocked in a game winning 49-yard field goal with 7 seconds left on the clock.

It was a solid all around win for the Bears and as a fan it feels damn good to not be embarrassed about being a Bears fan for a week. The Raiders came in at 2-1 and favored by three points, but the Bears played better in all aspects of the game. They dominated the total yardage (371 to 243) and the time of possession (33:22 to 26:38). Despite the statistical dominance, the Bears were on the brink of losing this one until some heroics by Jay Cutler and Robbie Gould sealed the win for the Bears.

Week 1 Takeaways

1.) It’s good to have Jay Cutler back – If the Bears would have lost this one, most of the media chatter would have been about the 4th quarter interception that took points off the board for the Bears and led to the Raiders taking the lead on a field goal after a long drive. The more important thing to consider is that the Bears wouldn’t have even been in the game with out Jay Cutler. Despite playing at clearly less than 100% and not being able to scramble at all, Cutler came through with a gutsy performance to lead the Bears to a game winning field goal on a clutch drive with just over 2 minutes left in the game. For most of the day Cutler was running for his life in the pocket (on a bum leg) but consistently avoided the pressure and found an open receiver. For the day Cutler was 28/43 for 281 yards and 2 TDs despite the Bears missing two starting O-linemen for most of the game, Cutler’s top target Alshon Jeffrey, and playing on a gimpy hamstring that kept him from running the ball. It was a clutch, ballsy performance and hopefully Cutler will get the credit he deserves from fans and local media.

2.) Matt Forte is a bad man – Despite the Raiders stacking the box for most of the game, Forte was able to gain 91 yards on the ground and another 64 in the passing game. Defenses are keying on Forte but for the second week in a row he was able to gain over 100 total yards and keep the chains moving for the Bears. It will be sad if the Bears end up trading Forte before the week 8 deadline, but it doesn’t make a ton of sense for a rebuilding team to spend big money on a new contract for the twilight of a 30 year old RBs career. If they do move him, I hope he ends up on a contending team and has a chance for a ring. Forte deserves it after all the work he has put in for bad Bears teams the last few years.