In the NFL to win a lot of of games during the season on a weekly basis you need some luck, the Bears got some luck to come out with a 23-22 victory. The Chicago Bears turf monster jumped up and bit Steven Smith, who slipped on a a comeback route allowing Tim Jennings to grab a pick six. That score put the Bears into the lead for the first time since the first quarter, but gave them confidence and momentum they needed to come away with a win.
The defense would relinquish the lead later in the fourth quarter, but Jay Cutler did what he is fully capable of doing, catching fire driving the Bears down the field. Cutler's fourth quarter two-minute drill put the Bears in position to win. Robbie Gould nailed the game winning field goal after missing an earlier field goal when he misjudged the wind.
Overall this game was absolutely ugly and extremely dreadful in all phases for the Chicago Bears. The Panthers finished 10 out of 19 on third down conversions in this game; a team that efficient on third down usually wins. Today however the Bears looked tired on defense throughout most of the three quarters. Early signs of pass rushing life were not sustained as Panthers' offensive line gave Cam Newton time to throw.
On defense this was the worst effort of the season for the Bears. They were able to slow the Panthers rushing attack, but not stop it. Steve Smith again had a strong effort hauling in seven passes for 118 yards.
The short week between the Monday night victory against the Lions and today's struggles seemed to affect this team physically. There was no real pass rush, and not the same consistent effort on defense you typically see.
The offense, other than another solid effort by Matt Forte was just as putrid as the defense. The Bears didn't get a third down conversion until late in the fourth quarter. They finished 3 for 8 on third down conversions, a recipe for disaster.
Despite the wild effort from Cutler, the poor play calling from Mike Tice the Bears came away with a victory.
What's clear now is the Bears need a consistent rhythm from their quarterback, on a weekly basis. Cutler struggled to make progressions today other than a one read and throw to a check down. Mike Tice struggled as a play caller again veering away from a successful run game to put too much pressure on Cutler and the offensive line to make passing plays down the field.
The offensive found it's stride as Cutler was at one point 14 out of 16 on two fourth quarter drives that led to a touchdown and the game-winning field goal. The efficiency was spawned from getting Kellen Davis involved who hauled in a go-ahead touchdown.
What won the Bears this game was the play makers on offense deciding they were going to win this game by themselves. Brandon Marshall had four receptions on the final drive, and Cutler confidently threw darts to set up the thrilling win.