The Bears hung in there with Houston for most of the game, even without their starting quarterback. The offense continued its struggles and even turned it over more than we're used to seeing, but I am going to focus on many of the positives I saw from our beloved.
1) Jason Campbell is not Caleb Hanie. He's not Jay Cutler either, which is why he is his back up but he was solid, made throws, led some good drives and overall had better pocket presence than I have seen from any of Cutler's recent back ups. If, God forbid, the Bears must play another game or two without Cutler I feel relatively good about Campbell. Campbell was unspectacular but he took what the defense gave him and avoided too many bad mistakes.
2) The offensive line held up well. J.J. Watt, who I feared the most, was quiet most of the night and overall liabilities Gabe Carimi and J'Marcus Webb held their own against the fierce Texans pass rush. There was also great chipping and backs blocking in on it too. The TEs and FBs deserve a mention as well. All together the Bears allowed no sacks.
3) Cutler is tough. This isn't even a storyline or anything new. We all know it. But just think about this for a minute, Cutler has finished three different quarters with injuries; the first half of the NFC Championship game with a sprained ligament, the fourth quarter of the Chargers game last season with a broken thumb and the first half of last night's game with a concussion. That is grit.
4) Devin Hester no longer has to be great to help the Bears. He has only sniffed the endzone once this year and yet two teams have avoided kicking to him all together to the detriment of field position. He is basically getting by on his reputation at this point. Unfortunately the Bears have no offense to make teams pay for it.
5) Brandon Marshall is a beast and he plays for the Bears. He had 100 yards again last night, with a back up QB in for half of the game and the defense keying in on him. He is an incredible asset to the team and I can't imagine how ugly it could have gotten without him last night.
6) The defensive line was good again. Henry Melton was getting pressure, Julius Peppers was being disruptive and as a whole, the line played a lot better than it has in recent weeks. They only had one sack but had three QB hits and three tackles for loss.
7) The defense bounced back to shutdown Arian Foster in the second half after he was able to gouge them in the first half. It was good resiliency and kept the Bears in the game until the bitter end.
8) Brian Urlacher is beginning to look like his old self. He was credited with 7 solo tackles in the box score and two tackles for loss. He seemed to be just flying around the field a bit more than we've seen this season.
9) Tim Jennings continued his bid for the Pro Bowl with two more spectacular interceptions. He leads the league with eight. Even when the defense doesn't score and Charles Tillman isn't able to punch it out, they still generate turnovers.
10) The Bears' next opponent, the 49ers, could be without their starting quarterback as well after Alex Smith left yesterday's game with a concussion. I don't know if that helps the Bears, but it sure doesn't hurt.
11) The Bears still only need to win four of their last seven to wrap up the division and Monday versus San Francisco is more important for playoff seeding than last night was. I got them down for sure wins against Minnesota at home, Seattle at home, at Arizona and at Detroit.
What positives were you able to take away from last night's game?