Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 9/10/12

Chicago Bears showed off a strong start on opening day. The Bears arrived in full-force to defeat the Colts 41–21. Cutler threw for an impressive 330 yards. Matt Forte carried for 80 and Brandon Marshall picked up 119. The offensive line showed improvement only allowing two sacks. Cutler had two throws picked off, one accounted for a Colts touchdown.

Bears defense showed good form, especially Urlacher who’s comeback was questionable late in the pre-season. Melton landed two sacks on Luck, Wooten captured one. Wright had a great day with six solo tackles. Conte and Jennings shook it up with three interceptions between them resulting in 63 yards for the defense.

For the fans, this was the kind of opening day that builds some excitement for what’s to come. With the whole season ahead, it’s a great feeling to come off the first game with a win. After hearing the same hype from off-season and pre-season analysis, it’s a challenge not to be too cynical. We’ve seen and heard it before. The Bears are well-rated in the division, predicted to have a 12–4 season. Believe what you will, talk is cheap. This team has a long way to go.

Top three things the Chicago Bears need to do to finish on top of the division:

1. Consistency—The coaching staff needs to hold it together. The direction needs to be clear and concise. These guys need to know where they’re supposed to go so they can get there. Last season had it’s moments of chaos, we can’t take those risks—not if we want to win.

2. Hold it together in the Red Zone—This is the biggest challenge. Cutler has to deliver here. He has to show he can keep it together and get the ball into the end zone.

3. Healthy starters—This is true for most ball clubs, but the Bears really fell apart mid-season  2011 because of injuries. Cutler and Urlacher are key leaders on the field. With a shallow pool to choose a replacement quarterback from, it just becomes dismal. As for defense, Urlahcer brings an energy and charisma that cannot be replaced. Roach did a great job standing in during pre-season, but it’s just not the same.

Game  two will be up in Green Bay on  Thursday. There’s no time to waste this week, this may be a blessing or a curse. After Green Bay’s performance last night, they will likely come out with something to prove. The Bears need to stay the course and keep up the pace.

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

PLAYERS: Matt Forte
TEAMS: Chicago Bears
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