Matt Forte's 205 yards, along with Devin Hester's 69 yard punt (for 6), and 73 yard return certainly made the difference in this game. On the other hand, the Bears offense and Jay Cutler had little to do with with putting this game in the win column. In fact, this year is starting to look very similar to last year with the Bears departing from Mike Martz pass-happy game plans, and returning to their "bread-and-butter", the running game.
The only difference we see this year is having to face a 4-0 Detroit Lions team in week 5 next Monday night. We can also safely conclude that the road to the NFC North crown goes through Green Bay. If the Bears have any chance to get back to the playoffs, they will have to beat the Pack in their house on Christmas night in week 16.
Another plus was seeing Marion Barber back in action, and plunging into the endzone for the Bears final TD that iced the game (which we predicted he would play a key role in getting those tough yards when needed). Both Urlacher and Briggs led the way in tackles with new safety Meriweather right behind them. However, I am concerned that our D got torched for over 500 yards in total offensive by rookie Cam Newton and Crew. It is also important to point out that ex-Bear TE Greg Olson grabbed 5 passed for 50 yards and a TD late in the game.
Yes, I'm very happy we won the game, but I'm still very concerned about the rest of the season. If we lose to Detroit next week, our record will be 2-3, while the Lions will advance to 5-0. It is also important to point out that last year the Lions nearly beat the Pack twice (losing 28-26, then winning in week 14 7-3). The Lions are looking more and more like the surprise team of 2011, and next week will have a lot say regarding how things are going fall-out in the NFC North.
Let's stop kidding ourselves folks, the Bears had a lot of people snowed with their opening day win over Atlanta (including myself), but now things are looking pretty much the same as they did last year. Don't be surprised if the Bears are a 3 to 7 point underdog on the line for next week's game in Detroit.....