Originally posted on Cuzoogle  |  Last updated 10/4/11

SAN FRANCISCO - NOVEMBER 12: Devin Hester #23 of the Chicago Bears in action against the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park on November 12, 2009 in San Francisco, California. The 49ers won 10-6. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

Fans of the Chicago Bears will be feeling good this week, after a hugely encouraging win over the Panthers.

The margin of victory was only five points, in a 34-29 scoreline, but there was plenty to like.

Devin Hester set an NFL record with his 11th punt return for a touchdown, while Matt Forte ran for a career-high 205 yards. Anyone following the football betting will have been impressed.

Running back a punt 69 yards in the second quarter to pass Eric Metcalf’s previous record, he performed three somersaults in the end zone.

At that time, the Bears led 24-10 and looked comfortable. But before they eventually secured the victory, Chicago allowed the Panthers to cut the lead to four points. People who bet on NFL will be questioning the Bears’ defensive abilities after they nearly let things slip.

There were positives for Carolina, as rookie Cam Newton threw for 374 yards and the Panthers wound up with 543 total yards. Steve Smith passed Muhsin Muhammad as Carolina’s all-time leading receiver, finishing with 181 yards on eight catches.

The Bears, though, who moved to 2-2 on the season, were able to convert when they needed to.

Forte broke off a 40-yard run and Marion Barber took it in from the 3, sealing the win after back-to-back losses to New Orleans and Green Bay.

Forte easily broke his previous career high of 166 yards last year against Carolina and shook off a brutal performance last week, when he managed 2 yards on nine attempts.

He and Hester lifted Chicago on a day when Cutler threw for 102 yards and the defense couldn’t contain the Panthers.

Though Newton made mistakes, including throwing into coverage for an interception and TD return, he was generally impressive.

And he had the final word in the game, when linking up with Greg Olsen with a three-yard pass for a touchdown with 1:19 left on the clock.

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