It was a perfect day for football when the Chicago Bears and Carolina Panthers took the field in Chicago, Ill. on Sunday.
The Bears just came off a disappointing loss against the Packers, and the Panthers have been riding the Cam Newton wave, regardless of their record.
The buzz about the Bears leading up to the game was that they needed to run the football. Matt Forte is an explosive pass-catcher out of the backfield, however establishing the run game is the only way to ensure an effective passing game.
The Bears came out running, and Matt Forte ended the day at 205 rushing yards on 25 attempts. Though a great day for him and the Bears rushing attack, however, two starting LBs for the Panthers were sidelined with injuries. Not to mention, Carolina isn't known to be a defensive powerhouse against the run.
Regardless, it is encouraging to see the Bears hammer the ball and achieve strong results.
Lets just see if Mike Martz reverts back to his 30 plus passing attempts per game, or provides a balanced attack to utilize all the weapons the Bears have on the offensive side of the ball.
On the defensive side of the ball, DJ Moore provided an early momentum swing when he picked off a Cam Newton pass and returned it for a TD. That didn't stop the Cam Newton bus from riding strong though, as he continued to connect on deep balls with receiver Steve Smith. Newton ended up tossing for 374 yards with one TD and one INT, as he continued to advance his skills and gain exposure to NFL defenses.
The Bears won an ugly game 34-29, as they improved their record to 2-2 sitting in third place in the NFC North behind Green Bay and Detroit.
They are on the national stage next week against the division rival Lions, who have an obvious chip on their shoulders. Currently at 4-0, they have showcased an impressive pass game, all the while proving they can come back from large deficits, even on the road.
The Lions and their fans are no doubt ready to showcase their talents to the world, and it should be a hard-fought NFC North battle.
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