Despite winning against the Chargers in a very impressive fashion a dark cloud sits over the football team's current 5 game winning streak. Jay Cutler has a broken thumb on his throwing hand so many fans are forgetting the very impressive win we just had over a solid football team. Our next article will delve more into Cutler and his injury but let's discuss the game.
A lot of fans and analysts didn't know how Phillip Rivers would perform against the Bears defense. Up until the 4th quarter, Rivers played like the Rivers during the 2010 season. His two 4th quarter interceptions, with good field position, took his team completely out of the game. Jay Cutler outperformed Rivers by the end of the game. Jay Cutler was 18 for 31 for 286 yards, 2 TD's, and 1 INT. The interception came on a play where Cutler threw to Johnny Knox on a slant and Knox fell down. Antoine Cason intercepted the pass and while trying to push him out of bounds Cutler hit his throwing hand twice while attempting to tackle Cason. After the game it was broken and determined that he needed surgery. Cutler did finish the game with the injury and went 2 for 2 passing in the 4th quarter. He also had a rushing TD on the day in which he leaped over the pile for the score.
For the most part Matt Forte was bottled up but, only because San Diego played him smart. They put 8 in the box and forced Cutler to beat them in the air...and he did. Forte had 20 carries for 57 yards. His longest carry of the day was 13 yards. Roy Williams had a small "coming out" type of game with 5 catches for 62 yards. An unfamiliar face in Johnny Knox came up with 3 catches for 97 yards and 1 TD. Earl Bennett continued to prove reliable as he had 3 catches for 75 yards. While offensively the Bears impressed, defensively they did as well. Corey Graham and Major Wright both had huge 4th quarter interceptions. Graham's pick sealed the game for the Bears to run the clock out. Here are some quick observations that we jotted down during the game.
Despite the Chargers stacking 8 in the box and forcing the Bears to throw, they didn't give up on the run game. That says a lot about the progression of Mike Martz ability to select plays. Hats off to him for keeping at it.
Offensive line played a great game today. They allowed 0 sacks and gave Cutler plenty of time to carve up the San Diego secondary.
The defense performed really well in the 2nd half. They gave up a lot of big plays in the 1st half but adjusted.
Charles Tillman was matched up with Vincent Jackson and V-JAX had 7 catches for 165 yards and 1 TD. After being beat for the TD Charles Tillman made up for it by punching the ball out of Ryan Mathews' arms for a Chicago Bears fumble recovery. Tillman is the best at punching balls out of ball carriers' arms. Tillman shut down Calvin Johnson last week but seemed to need help on V-JAX.
Special teams overall played well but had a couple blunders. Two holding calls on long returns by Devin Hester and a miscue on a fake punt pass late in the call. Podlesh saw an all out block called and threw a pass to a wide open Craig Steltz. The ball grazed the out-stretched hands of Steltz for a turnover on downs. Giving Phillip Rivers the ball down by 11 with 4 minutes to go at the 50 is never good. Luckily our defense got us the ball back quick via a Major Wright interception.
Next week Caleb Hanie will be our starting Quarterback as we head to Oakland to face the Raiders.