Lions vs. Bears: Cutler Shows Plenty of Grit in Defeat of Division Rival Lions

Andrew Garda@andrew_gardaFeatured ColumnistOctober 23, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 22: Jay Cutler #6 of the Chicago Bears breaks away from Louis Delmas #26 of the Detroit Lions at Soldier Field on October 22, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

During Jay Cutler's time in the league, he has taken some really heavy criticism questioning his toughness.

If you had any lingering questions about his toughness, Cutler answered them when he returned to the field after Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh made like Bane on Batman and suplexed the Bears quarterback into the Soldier Field turf.

After missing one play, Cutler returned and gutted out the rest of the game with a rib injury which definitely hampered his ability to drive the ball and it showed on occasion, though ultimately it didn't cost the Bears the game.

He and Marshall are definitely synced up and it's awfully hard to stop those two when Cutler gets in a rhythm, which he did despite multiple sacks and pressure.

Matt Forte and Michael Bush both looked good as well and Earl Bennett seemed to be healthy—good news for an offense which just lost ascending rookie Alshon Jeffery.

Defensively, what can you say about this group which hasn't been said many times already?

Charles Tillman did outstanding work shutting Calvin Johnson down. Tillman played the elite receiver hard, physical and tough, making multiple great plays on passes which Johnson could have really hurt the Bears with.

The usually productive front seven "only" got three sacks but forced four fumbles (three they recovered) and generally made Matt Stafford's life miserable. Stafford never looked comfortable and couldn't or wouldn't set his feet.

The pressure forced Stafford into some awful decisions, and while only one was intercepted, overall it resulted in multiple dead drives for the Bears.

The score of this game is very misleading and should have been worse for the Lions, but Cutler's injury definitely made it seem like more of a game than it was.

The Bears showed Monday night that, if healthy, they are getting into a groove and are set to challenge for the division title and much more.

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