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Bears Bounce Back Against Steelers In 17-14 Victory

Wow, what a difference a week makes. A lot was made of the Bears disappointing loss to Green Bay last week and injuries to key defensive players only compounded the loss. The Bears were able to make the necessary adjustments and go home as winners after a thrilling 17-14 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Offense Much Improved:
The Bears’ offense was in neutral again in the first half as they collected only 43 yards before a putting together a 97 yard drive to tie the score at shortly before halftime. Again, as was the case in week one, Cutler was under heavy pressure but he was able to pick up where the blitzes were coming from and he did less scrambling out of the pocket. He completed 27 of 38 passes for 236 yards along with 2 touchdowns, and most importantly, no interceptions after throwing 4 against the Packers.

The only disappointment on the offensive side of the ball was the fact that the Bears were not able to establish a ground game for the second consecutive week as Matt Forte and Adrian Peterson only combined for a poultry 45 yards on 16 rushing attempts. If the Bears expect to be a better team, it will have to do a better job of implementing their rushing attack or else the opposing teams will continue stack up 7 or 8 men in the box and try to make Chicago beat them with their passing game. While they were successful in this game with a one-dimensional offense, it will have to be more balanced going forward if they hope of making a deep run in the playoffs.

Defense Steps Up:
One of glaring weaknesses of the team coming into the season was the defensive unit as it ranked 28th and 21st in the league over the last 2 season. Of course the unit took a hit when Urlacher went down with a season-ending wrist injury last week so now they really had their work cut out for them coming into this game. On the Steelers' first drive of the game, they moved the ball down the field rather easily on a 13 play drive totaling 92 yards to give the Steelers an early 7-0 lead. It appeared that the defense was going to be in for a long day. However, following that opening series, the defense played pretty solid for the most part only allowing 308 total yards and more than half of them came in the first half. Lance Briggs lead all linemen with 8 tackles and Alex Brown had 4 tackles including 2 sacks giving the team 4 in the first 2 games. The defense deserves praise for their performance holding the Steelers to just 14 points when all was said and done.

Key Players Of The Game:
I would say that one of the key players from this game would have to be Jay Cutler as his performances between last week to this week, were like night and day. Going from turning the ball over 4 times to 0 for this week was a major step and he did an excellent job of staying cool in the pocket even when under pressure. The other key player from this game would have to be rookie receive Johnny Knox who caught 6 passes for 70 yards (including the game-tying touchdown) and did a good job on special teams as well. If he continues to improve, he could become the number one receiver as he definitely has shown the ability to get behind the opposing secondary in the first 2 weeks of the season.

Overall, the team played a pretty solid and let’s hope they can carry the momentum from this game into next week where they will face the Seattle Seahawks.

James Tillman


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