The Chicago Bears improved to 4-1 on the season after dismantling the Jacksonville Jaguars to by a final score of 41-3.
The Bears now enter their bye-week tied atop of the NFC North standings with the Minnesota Vikings.
Here is a recap and some interesting points to take away from this Bears victory.
The Bears had a total of 73 plays on offense that garnered 501 total -yards. After a sluggish start, Jay Cutler finished the game with 292 passing -yards with two touchdowns and one interception while completing 23 of his 39 passing attempts.
The Bears were able to punish the Jaguars on the ground by rushing for 214 -yards. Matt Forte lead the rushing attack with 107 -yards on 22 carries. Brandon Marshall caused havoc all day for Jacksonville as he hauled in twelve catches for 144 -yards and one touchdown.
Marshall’s 12 receptions were the second most of his career behind his NFL record 21. He is also the first Bears receiver to record back-to-back games of over 100--yards receiving for the first time since 1999. The Bears had 26 first downs and were 10 for 17 on third down conversions. Their defense added to two touchdowns on interception returns by Charles Tillman and Lance Briggs.
First Quarter: Robbie Gould 32 -yard field goal for the Bears
Second Quarter: Josh Scobee 31 -yard field goal for the Jaguars
Robbie Gould 31 -yard field goal the Bears
Charles Tillman 36 -yard interception for a touchdown for the Bears
Alshon Jeffery 10 -yard pass from Jay Cutler for a touchdown for the Bears
Brandon Marshall 24 -yard pass from Jay Cutler for a touchdown for the Bears
Lance Briggs 36 -yard interception for a touchdown for the Bears
Armando Allen 45 -yard run for a touchdown for the Bears
The Tale of Two Halves:
The Bears offense in the first half was anemic as they struggled to get anything going. Although it appeared they were establishing their running game with Forte pilling up -yards in the first quarter, the Bears were unable to come away with anything but a lone field goal.
The Bears finished their last three possessions of the half by punting the ball, and there was not any signs the second half was going to be any smoother. Cutler completed 10 of 20 passes for 110 -yards and an interception to go with a passer rating of 45.8 in the first half.
However, something clicked in the locker room at halftime as the Bears scored 35 unanswered points in the second half, on their way to their third straight victory. Jay Cutler finally found rhythm on his first possession of the third quarter by helping the Bears march down the field that on a drive that started on their own 11--yard line to finish at the Jaguars 13 to set up a Robbie Gould 31--yard field goal.
Cutler became even more comfortable in the pocket in fourth quarter where he threw for two touchdowns. On the first one to Alston Jeffery, Cutler methodically tore apart the Jaguars depleted secondary.
The scoring on the drive took only 3:36 on nine plays for 67 -yards. Cutler worked quickly on the next possession as he hooked up with Marshall on a 24 -yard touchdown pass on a drive that lasted only 4:03 and included seven plays for 94 -yards. The Bears implemented a very balanced attack in the second half which Jacksonville had zero answers for.
A Good Defense is a Good Offense
The Chicago Bears defense was stout once again against a horrid Jacksonville Jaguars offense. Their defense held the Jaguars to only 189 total -yards and they kept Maurice Jones Drew in check by limiting him to 56 -yards rushing.
They forced three turnovers, including two interceptions and one fumble recovery. Last week, the Bears had five turnovers against the Dallas Cowboys and they currently lead the league in takeaways. If you wipe out the offensive scores for the Bears, their defense would still have outscored the Jaguars entire offense: 14-3. The Bears defense returned two interceptions for touchdowns for two games in a row.
Is the Devin Hester Mojo Gone?
I have watched Hester’s historic career from beginning to now and it simply seems as if he has lost a step or two. He seems to lack confidence for himself on which direction he wants to go because at one point during a punt return in this game, he went from sideline-to-sideline searching for any daylight. He wound up with a measly two -yard punt return. On the day, he had four punt returns for only eight -yards. Hester’s production in the return game is somewhat troublesome as he is the strongest asset the Bears had on their special teams. . He was so adept at placing them in great field position on either kick or punt returns.
Turning Point of The Game:
The Jaguars were driving down the field in the second quarter in a 3-3 game as Blaine Gabbert had completed a 34 -yard pass to Cecil Shorts to place Jacksonville on the Bears 20 -yard line. One play later, Gabbert fumbled the ball while he was sacked by Corey Wooton and it was recovered by Julious Peppers. That stop was the turnover the Bears defense desperately needed . Prior to that, it looked like the Jaguars were about to score to put themselves up before the half.
Awful Kenny Albert Announcing Notice:
Kenny Albert takes out all of the enjoyment of watching any sporting event with his monotone voice and thus, it is my goal to find his worst moments while broadcasting any game.
In the second quarter Albert quipped: “And wait, Matt Forte caught it. What a catch.”
While watching the game, it was clear to me that Forte was nowhere near catching this pass and therefore I was surprised when Albert notified the viewers he did indeed catch the pass. When the replay was shown, neither Forte nor the ball was anywhere near being caught.
First Questionable Jay Cutler Timeout:
With the clock stopped due to a previous incomplete pass and with 26 seconds left in the second quarter, Cutler decided to take the Bears final timeout at the 50 -yard line. Prior to that timeout called, the Bears had enough time to try for a couple of plays to get into field goal range.
Bears Players/Units who Impacted the Fantasy Football World
- QB Jay Cutler: 292 passing -yards, 2 touchdowns 1 INT
- RB Matt Forte: 107 rushing -yards, 2 receptions for 20 -yards
- WR Brandon Marshall: 12 receptions for 144 -yards and 1 TD
- Bears Defense: 3 points allowed, 2 INT, 1 fumbles, 2 INT’s returned for aTD, 3 sacks
Quote of the Day:
"It's part of the DNA of our defense. It's not a good game unless we take the ball away."
Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith.