15-2. That’s the record the Chicago Bears have posted since 2005 when they score a defensive touchdown in a game.
Major Wright’s 45-yard interception return for a touchdown pretty much sealed the win for the Bears with nine minutes remaining.
Here’s a recap of the Bears 23-6 victory over the St. Louis Rams.
Robbie Gould added a career long 54-yard field goal at the 10:41 mark to give the Bears a 3-0 lead. The defense allowed eight total yards on 11 plays looking very solid in the quarter. The Bears offense added 72 yards on 22 plays on offense in the quarter. Jay Cutler tossed his sixth interception of the season on a pass intended for Brandon Marshall. Rams linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar deflected the pass and Cortland Finnegan reeled in the interception. The Bears held a 3-0 lead at the end of the first quarter despite dominating.
Both teams punted on their first drives of the second quarter. The following 12, play 81-yard drive was capped off on a three-yard touchdown scamper by starting running back Michael Bush. Backup running back Kahlil Bell added an 18-yard run and a 11-yard reception on the drive. Brandon Marshall reeled in two receptions for 25 yards on the drive as well. The Rams followed the Bears only offensive touchdown of the day with a field goal drive. St. Louis put together a 11 play, 43-yard drive that was capped off by a Soldier Field career long 56-yard field goal by rookie Greg Zuerlein. Devin Hester returned the following kickoff 37 yards, but with only 16 seconds left the Bears opted to end the half with a 10-3 advantage.
The Rams came out passing to start the second half and had some success. Quarterback Sam Bradford found wide receiver Danny Amendola for a 30-yard gain. The Bears batted down a Bradford pass on fourth-and-one on the Chicago 43 yard-line. The Bears failed to get anything going on the following drive, so they punted it away. The Rams cut the deficit to four on a 10 play, 39-yard drive that ended with a 46-yard field goal by Zuerlein. Steven Jackson carried the ball well on the drive to set the scoring drive up. Both teams punted on their next drives. The Bears held a 10-6 lead after three quarters.
The Bears started a drive from their own 25-yard line with 39 seconds left in the third quarter. They put together a 13 play, 71-yard drive that ended with a 22-yard field goal by Robbie Gould. Rookie wide receiver Alshon Jeffery added two catches, tight ends Kellen Davis and Kyle Adams each added one as Cutler drove the team down the field. The running game stalled on the drive, but Cutler scrambled for a 21-yard gain setting the Bears up at the St. Louis six-yard line. Bush ran for two yards, then Cutler tossed two straight incomplete passes. Major Wright put the game away with a 45-yard interception return for a touchdown that he reeled in off a Tim Jennings pass deflection. At 20-6 the Bears were nine minutes away from getting their second victory of the 2012 season. They allowed just six yards on defense forcing the Rams to punt two drives in a row. The Bears offense added three more points with a 37-yard Gould field goal to make the game 23-6. The final drive for the Rams lasted two plays as Tim Jennings reeled in his first interception of the game to put the dagger on the game. The Bears won 23-6 as the defense dominated and the offense did just enough.
QB Jay Cutler: 17 of 31 for 183 yards and one interception. QB rating of 58.9.
RB Michael Bush: 18 rushes for 55 yards and one touchdown. 3.1 ypc.
DT’s Amobi Okoye, Stephen Paea, Henry Melton: A combined six tackles and two sacks.
Three stars of the game:
Israel Idonije: He racked up 2.5 sacks on a day where six sacks were made by the defense. He was constantly making plays in the backfield something the Bears love to see out of Izzy. If this defensive line can continue to bring pressure like they have through the first three weeks it could be bad news for opposing opponents.
Tim Jennings: He is outperforming almost everybody on the defense. He looks like the best cornerback for this team by far. With four interceptions already on the season he could be well on his way to the Pro Bowl. He set up the Major Wright pick six with a pass deflection and reeled in a interception of his own in the closing minutes.
Brandon Marshall: Despite a couple of key drops, Marshall reeled in five catches for 71 yards and looked like the real deal. He went up against Cortland Finnegan for most of the day and did a solid job of getting separation.
The Bears came out of this game rather healthy with only rookie FB/TE Evan Rodriguez (knee) departing in the first half.. Matt Forte should be healthy enough to play Dallas next Monday night.
Around the NFC North:
Minnesota shocked everybody by taking down San Francisco 24-13. At 2-1, the Vikings are tied at the top of the division with the Bears.
The Lions fell to 1-2 on the season with a 44-41 loss to Tennessee. Matthew Stafford was knocked out of action. Detroit once again looks weak on defense, an area that really plagued them a season ago.
Green Bay travels to Seattle for a Monday Night Football battle.