The Bears snapped a 3-game losing streak, and earned their first home win of the season, with a 21-13 victory over the Vikings on Sunday. But it wasn't always pretty, with special teams blunders, penalty flags flying, and a malfunctioning game clock. Still, it was a small step in the right direction for Marc Trestman's beleaguered team. After giving up more than 50 points the previous two games, the defense showed signs of life and contained the Vikings 10th-ranked rushing offense.
The win was especially sweet for defensive end Jared Allen, who spent the past 6 seasons with Minnesota. Now the 4-6 Bears turn their attention to the 2-8 Buccaneers, who visit Soldier Field next Sunday. It's a matchup with familiar faces, as former Bears head coach Lovie Smith now leads Tampa Bay, and former Bears backup quarterback Josh McCown now starts for the Bucs. They're coming off a 27-7 win over the Redskins. James "Big Cat" Williams breaks down the game.
Dan Jiggetts, local sportscaster and former Chicago Bear (1976-1982), offers his thoughts on the Bears’ 21-13 win over the Vikings.
Jay Cutler did enough to win the game. What did you like about his performance?
He was moving around in the pocket, dashing when he had to. He took some calculated gambles to a big wide receiver (Brandon Marshall) covered by one man (Josh Robinson). I like that he was using a more rhythm passing game. He worked more diligently and patiently to let the game develop. His use of the screen pass was excellent.
Anything disappoint you about the way Cutler played?
The interceptions! I think he’s still way too casual with the football. Had that been the Patriots, there probably would’ve been another 30 points on the board. I think of the description of insanity -- keep doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome. His offensive line gave him extra protection. I know they wanted to block for (Matt) Forte. They have arguably the most talented back in the NFL. I think in terms of receiving, he’s near the top. You got to use the guy. He’s going strong. Hopefully this will kickstart things for the offense.
The defense only gave up 13 points -- a marked improvement from the past two games. What stood out to you about the defense's performance?
One of the things, it was just a different opponent. But when you look at what Minnesota was doing with the run game coming in – ranked in the Top 10, (Jerick) McKinnon averaging over 5 yards a carry – they did a nice job of bottling him up. They also did a nice job making the rookie quarterback (Teddy Bridgewater) uncomfortable.
The game clock was malfunctioning for much of the game. Is that a big deal to players and coaches?
It is to some guys. They have a routine. They look at the play clock, it’s part of how they prepare themselves from play to play. For linemen, you just put your head down and get ready to play. The quarterback has to get the play called correctly -- if you have motion going, etc. The quarterbacks and receivers, it impacts them more.
The 2-8 Buccaneers come to Soldier Field next Sunday. Will Lovie Smith and Josh McCown be out to prove something, given their respective histories with the Bears?
I’m sure there’s a part of Lovie that wanted to remain here and do a great job and get the team turned around. It’s a hole in your heart when you’re unceremoniously dumped with a 10-6 record. It’s hard to come back from that. McCown was the perfect quarterback for what the Bears needed (last year) at that time. He moved the football forward. Don’t get greedy, don’t get foolish. So much fun to watch him.