Chicago Bears: Top 5 Players in Sunday's Big 41-3 Win over Jacksonville
It turns out that I was right. The Bears had a sluggish first half but then came out firing in the second half. Jay Cutler had a slow start but picked things up as the game went on.
The Bears receivers were open more often than a bar on Rush Street. The running game was solid, and the offensive line did just enough to move things along.
The kicking game also especially played a part early on in the game.
Toward the end of the game, the Bears would have pity on the Jacksonville Jaguars. They pulled the starters out during the final three minutes or so.
The only issue I had with the Bears on Sunday were the penalties and the lack of a kick-return game by Devin Hester.
Instead of running straight ahead, he tried to dodge tacklers by going east and west. Obviously, that didn't work.
But despite those flaws, the Bears were flawless in every other aspect of the game during the second half.
The Bears needed to get this win heading into the bye week. They will face Detroit in a Monday night encounter in two weeks.
But for now, let's take a look at the five players who made the biggest difference on Sunday...
5. Robbie Gould
You have to put Robbie Gould on this list because he scored the Bears' first six points while the offense was asleep.
Gould's leg, combined with the Bears defense, kept them ahead until the offense found its rhythm in the third quarter.
4. Matt Forte
Although he didn't score a touchdown, Matt Forte finally got his first 100-yard rushing game of the season. It was 107 yards on 22 carries to be exact.
Thanks to assistance from Michael Bush, Armando Allen and even a couple of scrambles by Jay Cutler, the Bears rushed for over 200 yards as a team—another first for the 2012 season.
Historically as a franchise, the Bears have always prided themselves on a solid running game. Sunday was a perfect example of that.
Let's hope they can continue this style of play when the Lions come calling in two weeks.
3. Jay Cutler
For the second straight week, Jay Cutler has passed for over 200 yards. In the game's opening drive, Cutler threw an interception on a crucial third-down play.
But, he didn't let it get to him, and before he knew it, the defense had already gotten the ball back. Cutler progressed throughout the game.
At the end of the day, Cutler went 23-of-39 for 292 yards and two touchdowns. He finished the game with a rating of 88.8.
Sometimes, Cutler loses his temper during games, but this week, he managed to keep his composure to some degree.
2. The Offensive Line
These guys never get enough credit. Despite the third-quarter penalties by Gabe Carimi, the offensive line put on its best game of the season on Sunday.
It only allowed one sack for the entire game, its lowest total of the season. Otherwise, it kept Jay Cutler standing on his feet, and it simply overpowered the Jaguars defensive line.
It also made sure that the running game got through, and boy it sure did. I can only hope and pray that the big guys in the trenches can play like this for the rest of the season.
1. Charles Tillman and Lance Briggs
For the second straight week, Tillman and Briggs have returned interceptions for defensive touchdowns. Tillman's pick in the third quarter gave the Bears a 10-point lead.
Briggs' INT in the fourth quarter pretty much put the game on ice. Before the season, some had questioned if age was beginning to catch up with both men.
After the way these guys have played this year, I'd have to say that's not the case. With Detroit coming to town in two weeks, I can't wait to see how these two bring the pain to "Megatron" on Monday Night Football.
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