As everyone reviewed this years schedule, it was a far-gone conclusion that the Bears would beat the Minnesota Vikings today. In fact, everyone also knew that the purple men's early season promise would quickly turn to disappointment. The only bright spot that remains is the continued improvement of RB Adrian Peterson who has shown an amazing recovery from an injured ACL-MCL from last year.
The Bears defense looked like it's old self again and got things started quickly with a QB sack from Henry Melton on the Vikes first play from scrimmage. QB Jay Cutler made a triumphant return going 23-31 for 188 yards (1 TDP, 1 INT). Cutler also showed why He's the guy that makes the Bears offense go (along with Brandon Marshall).
Changes made on the O-Line (Chris Spencer at G for Chilo Rachel, and Jonathan Scott at RT for Gabe Carimi) appeared to make a difference which allowed Cutler to extend some plays with His feet and get the ball down-field. However JMarcus Webb is still a liability, and if you watch him on each play, he constantly misses his blocking assignments.
On the other hand, the win costs us a few key players whose loss could prove lethal should they not return in the week or weeks to come:
- WR Devin Hester - Concussion
- RB Matt Forte - Ankle
- LG Chris Spencer - Knee
- CB Charles Tillman - Ankle
All four of these players play a vital roles on the team (needless to say), and their loss could spell a short season for 2012. Jay Cutler however, showed no ill affects from his concussion of 3 weeks ago and commanded the offense extremely well. Cutler even showed a stroke of rare humility by tying LT J'Marcus Webb's shoes between plays.
What does stick out was the continued occasional confusion with getting offensive plays from the sidelines. If Mike Tice wants to keep calling the plays (instead of turning the play calling over to Cutler), He needs to get things under better control and stop having to waste Time-Outs.
We'll discuss this game in more detail during our next edition of Chicago Bear's Extra.