On a windy November day in Chicago, the Bears rolled on to their fifth consecutive win by beating the San Diego Chargers, 31-20.
The Bears are now 7-3 and sit tied for second in the NFC North. Good news, right? Well, not so fast as quarterback Jay Cutler is most likely out for the season.
But let’s take a look at the game.
Both teams got their first scores of the game with field goals in the first quarter. The Bears got on the board with a six-pointer in the second quarter by running back Marion Barber. Two minutes later, San Diego tied up the game but the Bears grabbed a second touchdown from rarely used Kellen Davis to enter halftime ahead, 17-10.
San Diego came back from the break and tied the game 17-17 but Cutler scored a touchdown to pull the team ahead for the rest of the game, both in the second quarter. Chicago got their final score with a Johnny Knox touchdown less than a minute later for a commanding 31-20 lead.
The Chargers grabbed another field goal at the top of the fourth quarter and had a few touchdown chances but the team’s interception-prone quarterback, Philip Rivers, lived up to this season’s reputation and put the ball back in the Bears’ hands to shut the game down in the last two minutes.
Cutler is perhaps the biggest news coming out of Sunday’s game. The quarterback fractured his throwing thumb and he will be out for six to eight weeks.
Welcome back Caleb Hanie. Or, do we say hello to a veteran quarterback waiting to come out of the wings for December play?
Looking at the Bears’ receiving corp, Roy Williams led the team with five catches for 62 yards. He caught three consecutive passes, all first downs.
Johnny Knox was the team’s reception leader with 97 yards on three catches and one touchdown. However, from a slip in the fourth quarter while trying to make a catch, Knox’s missed pass went to a San Diego Charger for an interception.
Earl Bennett came in between these two with three receptions for 75 yards.
Matt Forte led in rushing with 21 carries for 59 yards, followed by Barber with six carries for 23 yards.
On the opposing side, quarterback Rivers went 21 for 31 passes for 280 yards, two touchdowns and two picks.
Wide receiver Vincent Jackson had seven receptions for 165 yards contributing to the Chargers’ 332 yards of total offense in three quarters. The Bears controlled the ball for almost the entire fourth quarter but the defense could have been sharper; it was only their second game of the season without a sack.
With a defense that will need to step up more than ever and an offensive line that looks better each week but still a little shaky, everyone will need to perform tremendously for the remainder of the season with Hanie at the helm.
Just when Bears’ fans were feeling good about the season, the Cutler bad news has put a dark cloud over it.
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Written by Debbie Baratz