If you take a look at the box score from this game, you would think that the Detroit Lions won the game. The Lions had 25 first downs (eight more than the Bears), 308 passing yards (183 more than the Bears) and had the ball for 36 minutes (13 minutes more than the Bears). So, how did the Bears win this game. Well it was mix of great special teams play throughout and some good defense in the second half.
Special Special Teams:
The Bears saw Robbie Gould make two field goals today, one of them was a 52 yarder, which was his longest attempt ever made. Punter Brad Maynard punted four times and every time the ball landed inside the Lions 20 yard line. Devin Hester returned a punt 35 yards in the first quarter to set up a touchdown drive, Earl Bennett returned a punt 20 yards and set up a field goal, and Danieal Manning returned a kick off 43 yards to set up a touchdown drive late in the fourth quarter. Also, how can you forget about Johnny Knox, he returned three kickoffs for a total of 147 yards and returned the opening kickoff of the second half 102 yards for a touchdown. I mean I knew the Bears had good special teams, but wow today was amazing. They set the offense up with a great field position all day and the defense was playing inside the Detroit 20 yard line most of the day.
The Lions came out firing on all cylinders in the first half, by racking up 21 points. Calvin Johnson couldn’t be stopped and Matthew Stafford looked the real deal. He did get sacked five times in this game, fumbling the ball once and throwing an interception once as well. The Bears pass rush looked unstoppable at times. Alex Brown (0.5), Adewale Ogunleye (2.5), Nick Roach (1)and Israel Idonije (1) all got to Matthew Stafford today. Also, Mark Anderson, Tommie Harris and Lance Briggs were everywhere. The pass coverage looked soft during the first half, but they came back in the second half by only allowing Detroit to score three points.
Jay Cutler threw two touchdowns, both in the red zone, to tight ends Greg Olsen and Kellen Davis. Cutler also scrambled in for a touchdown, where he jumped over Lions linebacker Julian Peterson and risked his body just for the score. That was an incredible play. The Bears had short fields all day, so they didn’t really need to throw the ball deep too often. Cutler hooked up with seven different receivers.
Unfortunately injuries hit the Bears in this game, but luckily it didn’t affect them too much. Running back Adrian Peterson went out in the first quarter with a knee injury, wide receiver Devin Hester left the game with a shoulder injury in the second quarter and Johnny Knox left the game in the third quarter with a bruised shin. The Bears do have a bye week next week, so they will get to rest those players and see how serious the injuries are. The Bears should have linebackers Hunter Hillenmeyer and Pisa Tinoisamoa back for the week six Sunday night match-up against the Falcons.
Bears offensive coordinator Ron Turner had this to say about the injuries to his wide receivers:
“I think they’re going to be fine, it sounds like.”
Running Game Looked Good At Times:
Matt Forte had runs of 61 and 37, but had only 23 yards on ten other carries. Forte broke into the end zone late in the fourth quarter on his 37 yard run. Garrett Wolfe had five carries for 22 yards and a touchdown (the first of his career). The Bears out gained the Lions 151-90 on the ground.
Things To Improve On:
The Bears offense was two of ten on third down conversions, and that must improve. The Bears must start fast on both offense and defense today, we saw it from the offense, but not so much from the defense. Those are my two biggest concerns heading into the bye week. I’m sure Lovie Smith and Co. will patch things up, they sure looked good with their half time adjustments today.
Overall the Bears should be happy with their 3-1 record with a quarter of the season in the books. Also they should be pleased with their pass rush because they have 14 sacks through four games so far this season and only had 27 sacks all last season.
all quotes from chicagosuntimes.com