Two years after the two teams faced off on a rainy day in Miami for the Superbowl crown, many awaited a rematch. Yesterday their prayers were answered but with much less at stake.
Many questions surrounded both teams as the game drew nearer. Would Peyton Manning be able to be himself after having knee surgery only a month ago and not taking a snap the entire preseason? Well it appeared he was back to normal completing 30 of his 49 passes for 257 yards and 1 td while throwing no interceptions. Would Orton be able to step up and handle the Colts defense and prove all the doubters wrong? He didn't have all the numbers only connecting on 13 of 21 passes for 150 yards with no td passes while committing no turnovers, something that has plagued the Bears offense over the last few years. Although the numbers don't show it Orton came up big when they needed it converting key third down plays and using the tight ends Desmond Clark and Greg Olsen well. Other questions involved rookie running back Matt Forte. He shut up most skeptics immediately. Taking 23 handoffs for 123 yards and a TD he was a huge part of the team and opened many eyes around the NFL. His longest play was a 50 yard TD run in which he took a handoff, cut back, juked safety Antoin Bethea, and then outran superstar Bob Sanders to the endzone giving the Bears momentum they would not relinquish the whole game.
The Colts scored on the first possession on Adam Vinitieri's 39 yard field goal. But the
Bears answered right back on Forte's touchdown run and held on from there. Vinitieri kicked another field goal making it 7-6 in favor of Chicago but the Bears Robbie Gould added a field goal of his own making it 10-6. Then the Bears showed what seemed to be a replay or the 2006 Monsters of the Midway defense dropping Manning at his own 2 then defensive end Adewale Ogunleye safetied Joseph Addai giving the bears a 12-6 lead. The Bears then kicked a field goal to end the half bringing the score to 15-6. All seemed well as the Bears came out for the second half with a certain swagger but that all changed in seconds. All-pro return man Devin Hester tried to catch the Colts special teams napping but it went array and he was tackled at his own 3 yard line. The Bears then went 3 and out and although punter Brad Maynard boomed a 55 yard punt the Colts marched down for their only TD when Peyton connected with Reggie Wayne in the endzone. This brought the score to 15-13 and the Bears were in a bit of a hole. Then on the colts next possession on a slant to Harrison, Charles Tillman stripped the ball and Lance Briggs scooped it up and sprinted to the endzone avoiding several tackles along the way. That TD made it 22-13 and the momentum shifted back towards the Bears. Then the Colts marched all the way down to midfield but on 4th and 1 Briggs and Ogunleye stuffed running back Dominik Rhodes to give the Bears the ball back. After a 26 yard pass to Tight End Desmond Clark got the Bears to the one full back Jason McKie pounded it into the endzone to put the Bears up 29-13 and end the scoring there.
After watching this game it is obvious the Bears have a chip on their shoulder and came out ready to play. I think the Colts will bounce back from this and Manning will be himself throughout the year. We'll just have to keep an eye on Kyle Orton and the Bears for now to see if they're the real deal.