It wasn’t the prettiest victory, but the Chicago Bears got the job done in Arizona on Sunday afternoon. The Bears won 28-13 and improved to 9-6 on the season.
Unfortunately the Minnesota Vikings went to Houston and took down the Texans to improve to 9-6 as well. The Vikings currently hold the sixth seed in the NFC, while the Seahawks hold the fifth seed.
The Bears have to win against Detroit next week and have the Vikings lose versus Green Bay next week or have the Seahawks lose tonight and next week versus the Rams if they want into the postseason.
Defensive end Julius Peppers tied his career high with three sacks, while Israel Idonije had one sack.
Cornerback Charles Tillman reeled in his third interception of the season, which he took back 10 yards for a touchdown. His score put the Bears up 28-6 and really put the game out of reach in the third quarter.
Kelvin Hayden reeled in his first interception of the season in the fourth quarter on a bad pass by Cardinals backup quarterback Brian Hoyer.
Zack Bowman scored the first defensive touchdown of the day for the Bears on a one yard fumble return for a touchdown.
The Bears’ offense were effective on the ground rushing for 152 yards. Matt Forte had 12 carries for 88 yards and one touchdown including a 36 run.
His afternoon was cut short however after he re-injured his right ankle. He was itching to get back in the game, but the Bears opted to keep him out of the action.
He should be considered questionable for next week’s big matchup against the Lions.
Another key injury for the Bears was safety Chris Conte. He hurt his hamstring early in the second half and was replaced by Anthony Walters, who finished the game with three tackles.
Jay Cutler completed just 12 of 26 passes for 146 yards and one touchdown. Brandon Marshall led all Bears receiver with six catches for 68 yards and one touchdown.
He was targeted 14 times and dropped some catchable balls as he was covered pretty well by Cardinals CB Patrick Peterson.
The Bears’ offense combined for 297 yards as they averaged 5.0 ypc and converted just three of 13 third down attempts.
Special teams didn’t play up to par as the Cardinals blocked a 20-yard field goal attempt by Olindo Mare and took it back for a touchdown.
Also, two fumbles were forced on special teams by the Cardinals one of which was recovered by them. Devin Hester has to put himself in better spots because he seemed lost out there.
Brian Urlacher was said to be seen running around the sideline prior to the game. He likely won’t play next with his hamstring injury, but if the Bears do make the playoffs he will certainly be roaming the middle of the field I can bet you that.
We didn’t learn much from this game as the offense again looked like underachievers.
It was nice seeing Earl Bennett back in the mix, but he was targeted just once. LB Nick Roach and CB Charles Tillman led the Bears with eight tackles a piece.
It won’t be easy to get to the postseason, but if the Bears can take care of business next week in Detroit they could find themselves playing in the 2012 NFL playoffs.
Obviously a win over Arizona isn’t impressive at this point, but its what the Bears needed after dropping three straight games.
Look for the Bears to get Matt Forte more involved next week if he is indeed back from an injured right ankle.
The Bears are who we thought they were on Sunday afternoon in Arizona.