After the first 6 games this season in every story you read, there was a side note, an after thought if you will. It was on how Cedric Benson made one of the biggest mistakes a rookie hold out had ever made. Then maybe a quick snipe at how bad he looked. My, my how things have changed. After showing some flashes on a couple of runs in the Bears OT game against Detriot last week, Benson, subbing for an injured Thomas Jones, looked very good running for 79 yards on 14 carries for an average of 5.6. Not just that, third stringer Adrian Peterson ran 6 plays for 58 yards and a 9.7 average. Jones once rock solid future in Chi town just took another chip. Jones is clearly beat up and he needs to heal, but he knows if he comes off the field and Benson tears it up, his run as a Bear might be over before it gets started, so he will probably keep plodding along for the rest of the year.
On to the game. Chicago certainly doesn't like to make things easy on their fans. Just winning 17-10 wouldn't be good enough. No, it had to be a 20-17 win with seconds waning, but it is a win, so I won't complain for long.
With the win and a Detroit loss(vs. Minn), the Bears now have an outright two game lead on the Lions plus a season sweep. While not insurmountable, the Bears are sitting pretty in the NFC North.
In a game where I thought that Aaron Brooks and his receivers had a chance to make some noise, most of the Saints yardage came from an unexpected place, their running game. The Bears have been fairly stingy against opposing team's runners, but Saints RB Antowain Smith ran for 110 yards with a 6.5 average.
Orton, whose numbers (16/26 137 yds, 1 TD, 2 INT), were not all that great did spread the ball around well. Muhammad caught most of the yardage as he went for 83 yards on 3 catches, but the much maligned Justin Gage led the team in catches with 4, incluidng a TD.
Aside from the running game, the Bears D was pretty good. Only allowing 170 yds through the air. Recording 3 sacks and 2 INTs.
Overall a very Bears type of win. Next up a San Fran team that is playing better than their record, but shouldn't be too hard to come away with a win, before we start playing the big boys.