It was a rough start for the Bears, who looked shaky on their first two drives. They allowed one sack and Jay Cutler tossed an ugly pick six on a check down to Matt Forte from his own four-yard line. The Colts were up 7-0 early on, but Cutler quickly bounced back and showed poise in the pocket. The offensive line stepped up as well as newcomers Brandon Marshall and Michael Bush. The Bears tied the game up with 7:19 remaining with a Michael Bush one-yard touchdown run. The touchdown drive was an 11 play, 80 yard-drive that was helped by two big runs by Matt Forte (32 yards and 15 yards). The score was 7-7 heading into the second quarter.
The Bears started a drive from their own five yard line with 1:25 left in the first quarter. They proceeded to turn it into a 11 play, 95 yard drive, which ended in a Brandon Marshall three-yard touchdown reception. Cutler found his favorite target Marshall three times on the drive and it was obvious he was looking his way at the end of the drive. Matt Forte added an impressive one-handed catch which he took 31 yards down the field and Devin Hester had a big 29-yard catch. The Bears added three more points at the 5:32 mark after Tim Jennings intercepted Colts rookie QB Andrew Luck. The Colts drove right down the field on the following drive adding a rushing touchdown from Donald Brown. The Bears looked great at the end of the first half putting together an eight play, 72-yard drive that ended with a one-yard touchdown run from goal-line back Michael Bush. Colts kicker Adam Vinateri missed a 37-yard field goal following the Bears touchdown. It was 24-14 Bears at the half.
The Bears defense forced a quick three and out to start the second half. The offense then added a four play, 55-yard drive that ended with a six-yard touchdown run by Matt Forte. The following kickoff second-year linebacker J.T. Thomas forced a fumble of rookie WR/KR LaVon Brazill and Kelvin Hayden recovered the ball at the Indy 12-yard line. The Bears added a 26-yard field goal to go up 34-14. Chris Conte looked healthy and intercepted Luck on a pass deflection by Tim Jennings with 4:46 remaining in the quarter. Brian Urlacher was pulled out of the game for most of the second half, so he could rest up his knee. Lovie Smith had that in his pregame plans and it was the right move in the end.
Andrew Luck put together a 12 play, 80-yard drive that started at the end of the third quarter. Luck tossed his first career touchdown pass to wide receiver Donnie Avery to make the game 34-21. The Bears put together what proved to be their final touchdown drive with seven plays and 80 yards. Matt Forte and Michael Bush carried the ball throughout the drive wasting some time off the clock, then Jay Cutler found rookie wide receiver Alshon Jeffery for his first career touchdown pass on a 42-yard bomb. The touchdown made the game 41-21. Cornerback Tim Jennings added his second interception, matching his total (2) from 2011 with 1:42 left in the game. The Bears kneeled it three times and came away with a 41-21 win in their home opener. The three rushing touchdowns (Bush 2, Forte 1) and 41 points were the most since 2009. The Bears wound up plus four on the afternoon, forcing five turnovers of Indy (three interceptions, two fumbles).
Three stars of the game:
Tim Jennings- He had two interceptions in this game. He forced the second interception on a pass deflection that second-year safety Chris Conte caught and took 35 yards down the field. He was being talked up during training camp for being a playmaker and he looked like one on Sunday. With Peanut Tillman out, Jennings took over the reigns.
Henry Melton- He matched his season opening total in sacks from 2011 with two on Sunday. He looked dominant, but the Colts offensive line is pretty mediocre lets be honest. Here’s to hoping he gets to Rodgers on Thursday night.
Brandon Marshall- The new Bears receiver made it known he is here to play. He added nine receptions for 119 yards and one touchdown. Jay Cutler looked his way often and the Colts defense couldn’t handle him. Marshall and Jeffery both are big targets for Cutler, they combined for nearly 200 yards receiving and two touchdowns. Jeffery will get more receptions when Marshall draws double teams.
Cornerback Charles Tillman came out of this one late in the first quarter after suffering a lower leg injury. He was replaced by Kelvin Hayden, who was tied for the team lead with seven tackles. However, Tillman is expected to start Thursday night against the Packers. The Bears made it a point to add depth to the cornerback position and Hayden showed he’s a perfect fit for this defense.
Around the NFC North:
The Lions came back to defeat the St. Louis Rams 27-23 despite QB Matthew Stafford’s three interceptions.
The Vikings beat the Jacksonville Jaguars in overtime on the leg of rookie kicker Blair Walsh. He sent the game into overtime on a 55-yard field goal with time expiring. Then he booted a 38-yard field goal to win it for Minnesota.
The Packers lost to a great defensive San Francisco team 30-22. Former Bears first-round pick Cedric Benson carried the ball only nine times for 18 yards.