It's always good for a chuckle when two top-10 defenses square off on the giridiron, and see a score-fest occur like it did Sunday. A combined 65 offensive points (62 in the first three quarters) were put on the board, with the Chicago Bears escaping with a 38-34 victory at Soldier Field Sunday.
Mark Sanchez, shoulder injury and all, sliced up the Bears defense seemingly at will for three quarters, while Jay Cutler and Company came to life in the 3rd quarter, leading the Bears one step closer to the #2 seed in the NFC playoff picture.
Final stat lines:
Jay Cutler: 13/25, 215 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT
Matt Forte: 19 rushes, 113 yards, 1 TD
Johnny Knox: 4 catches, 92 yards, 2 TDs
Chris Harris: 11 tackles, 1 INT, 1 pass defelection
The Bears defense could not find their footing Sunday, registring zero sacks, and only one QB hit on Sanchez, but were able to come up big in the fourth quarter when it mattered.
Devin Hester ended with 48 yards receiveing with one TD, a 40 yard KO return, and a 38 yard punt return.
Bottom line: If the Bears intend on making a run in the playoffs, Rod Marinelli will have to figure out how to get a more consistent pass rush on the QB, as the Bears offense cannot be expected to put up big numbrs by a still-struggling offensive line. The defensive backfield for Chicago has proven yet again that they cannot sustain pass coverage down the field without a pass rush from the front four.
Your initial thoughts?
On a seperate note, could the Vikings end up playing the 2011 season at TCF Bank Stadium?