Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 10/28/12
The Chicago Bears celebrated an exciting win against the Panthers at Soldier Field. While working to overcome inconsistencies on the offensive line, the challenged Bears still beat their opponents. Ranked number one in the NCF North, this team should be beyond having something to prove. Overall, Jay Cutler is keeping the drive alive, connecting with Marshall and improving his performance in the red zone. Brian Urlacher and the defense are violent and fast, making them virtually unstoppable. However, the first three quarters today looked pretty dismal, if not, just plain frustrating. The sacks and the fumbles led to frustration and errors. The Bears went into the fourth quarter down 19–7 when Brad Nortman shanked a 6-yard punt and opened the door to an unlikely rally. Kellen Davis helped spark the Bears’ recovery with a 12-yard touchdown. Then, Tim Jennings followed up with an interception and 25-yard touchdown. With 2:27 left on the clock, Jay Cutler moved the offense 55 yards, to the 23 yard line—a reasonable distance for Robbie Gould to capture the win. Gould made up for a missed kick earlier with a 41-yard field goal kick. Looking at numbers this week, the Bears clearly didn’t have the edge like they’ve had in past weeks. Today’s game against the Panthers looks more like Cutler’s performance against the Packers than his win against the Lions. This is where coaching and play-calling make a difference. Traditional Chicago Bear-style football is opportunistic and physically punishing. The Bears rely on their defense to break down the opposing offense. They expose and exploit their opponent’s weakness. When it works, it leads to glorious rebounds and bittersweet victories. Today it worked. Jay Cutler controlled the ball for just 23:22, ten minutes less than the Panthers. He was sacked six times and threw for one interception. Brian Urlacher and the defensive unit worked against itself as they gave up 416 yards as Carolina converted 10 of 19 third downs. The Chicago Bears defense has done a great job stripping the ball and scoring on interceptions. The Bears need these big plays to convert points and stay ahead. Tillman has done an outstanding job at creating big plays and stealing the ball. Jennings interception/touchdown marks the Bears’ sixth defensive touchdown this season. At the end of the game, the Chicago Bears walk away victorious. This is certainly not the cleanest win, but it counts. The Bears are holding their own in the conference and continue to battle it out to remain the leader. Both Minnesota and Green Bay are in the race for a close second trailing only by one game. The next match up will be against the unpredictable Titans in Tennessee, followed by the Texans and the 49er’s.

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

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