Bears stumble, then rumble and
beat the Colts 41-21
by Dan Peters
For 2012, the Chicago Bears had
high expectations after the huge letdown last year. They would add a
new General Manager, new weapons on offense, and a familiar faces for
Jay Cutler to target. But this 2012 regular season would start out slow
and sloppy, but Chicago Bears fans are used to that.
Jay Cutler and the offense recovered
nicely to defeat the Indianapolis colts 41-21 in front of 60695
fans on a beautiful fall afternoon at Soldier Field.
Cutler and the offensive line looked
rusty and sloppy looking like shades of 2010, allowing the Colts
defense to sack cutler on the first play from scrimmage. Cutler and the
Bears would go three and out.
Andrew Luck would fair no better on
his first drive in his NFL debut. Luck would also go three and out on
the Colts first drive.
From bad to worse..
On the Bears next drive, Cutler
dropped back and threw the ball right into the hands of Jerrell Freeman
of the Colts for an easy 4 yard run to the end zone.. Colts would draw
1st blood, scoring the first seven points of the game.
Getting the wake up call..
Jay Cutler and the Bears offense got
the wake-up call and drove down the field 80 yards to tie the game at
seven.. The Bears would not look back.. The defense held Luck and the
Colts at bay and would go into halftime up 24-14.
The Bears found Forte and the rushing
game was on. Forte would rush for 80 yards on 16 carries, setting up
the Bears' first two touchdowns with a 32-yard run and an impressive
one-handed 31-yard reception with a linebacker draped on his back. "I
expected it to be like that," Forte said. "It didn't start out that
fast. I think we had first-game jitters. We then showed the resiliency
of the offense to come back after giving up a turnover and a touchdown.
We just came back and put a lot of points on the board."
Fellow running back Michael Bush had two 1-yard touchdown runs in the first half. "I
thought [coordinator] Mike Tice and the rest of the offensive staff had
a great game plan to get things moving. Not just the big plays but
every time it seemed like Indy was able to get a little momentum we
matched it with a drive to score." Said Lovie Smith.
Getting the offense rolling
The Bears would score ten points in
the third quarter..making it look easy and just maybe the Bears would
put the Colts out of the game..
"We started off on a wrong
foot, but we picked it up," said receiver Devin Hester. "We came back
out and finished the game. That's the most important thing. Sometimes
you're going to start out slow, but the great teams know how to handle
adversity and get better as the game goes."
Cutler would end the day with 333 yards and two touchdowns, Brandon Marshall added 119 yards receiving with a touchdown.
The Bears wound up with their highest point total since they scored 48 in a win over Detroit on Oct. 4, 2009.
''We got the guys,'' Marshall said. ''We have the pieces. We have the coaches.'
Not so “Lucky”
Andrew Luck would show why he was the
first pick of the draft.. and drive the team down the field and make
the game look respectable. Luck is a rookie and at times he
looked like a veteran. But playing the Bears and their defense will
force even the best players to make mistakes, especially rookies. In
his first NFL game, Luck completed 23 of 45 passes for 309 yards with
one TD, three interceptions and a 52.9 passer rating.
''There will be a lot of positives, a
lot of negatives, we'll try to learn from it,'' Luck said. ''I'm still
disappointed fresh off what happened but we'll get over it.'' Not bad
for your first day on the job.
Wayne, one of Peyton Manning's old
targets, caught nine passes for 135 yards. But it was a familiar result
for a team with a new coach in Chuck Pagano.
Defense and turnovers win games.
The Bears generated five takeaways,
four on defense and one on special teams. Cornerback Tim Jennings
had two interceptions of Luck and created a third when he deflected a
pass that safety Chris Conte picked off in the end zone.
Brain Urlacher, where art thou?
Urlacher played the whole first
half.. and the first series of the second half, then was pulled.. not
for an injury, but a coach’s decision.
''I don't like to leave the game, but he's the head coach, so I do what he says,'' Urlacher said.
The eight-time Pro Bowler was
in uniform for the first time this year after missing more than a month
of training camp and all four preseason games with a knee injury.
"After Brian Urlacher got I
think about 35 reps or so, I chose to take him out," Smith said. "Brian
wanted to play the entire game. When we told him he was coming out,
it's not like he told us that it was a great idea. [But] he knows that
there's a big picture.
wanted to get him a little bit of work. It's his first action. It's
like in a preseason game. You're not going to let a guy go that entire
time unless you have to, and we didn't have to today."
Record Setting Bear..Mannelly sets Bears record for seasons played
By playing in today’s game, Long snapper Patrick Mannelly set the Bears
team record for seasons played with 15. Entering this season, Mannelly
was tied with legend Doug Buffone (1966-79) and hall of famer Bill
George (1952-65) with 14 seasons played.
The Bears will have no time to rest as they face the Green Bay Packers on Thursday Night.. just four days from now.
"Through the course of the year you're going to have to fight through
some adversity," Smith said. "You might as well get it out of the way
early on to see what you're made of."
"What we say we're going to be as a football team, I think it's
important to let everybody see right away what that can be and what it
can look like," said coach Lovie Smith. "We have weapons on the
outside. But you want to see it out there on the field and they did a
great job today."
At least the Bears will have that confidence they
need to challenge the Packers in Green Bay. It will be an even
better test for the new offensive juggernaut called the Chicago Bears.