Bears dispose of Browns, look to difuse Eagles running game

The Chicago Bears barely escaped Ohio with a victory Sunday afternoon against the Cleveland Browns.  The game was a close 38-31 offensive point fest and the Bears overcame two early Jay Cutler interceptions to get the win.  Cutler was reinstated as the starting quarterback even though Josh McCown’s performance in Cutler’s absence has reignited the fan base.

“I can only imagine the commentators and the fans back at home after the first and second pick, what they were saying,” Running Back Brandon Marshall said of Cutler’s early performance. “I’m sure they were ready to hang him.”

This week against the Eagles, the Bears hope to take away the one thing that makes them tick like a clock, running back LeSean McCoy, the NFL’s leading rusher with 1,343 yards thus far this season.  In order to do that, the Bears are relying on OLB Lance Briggs to return from injury after being away seven weeks.

Great seats and tickets remain for this classic NFC match up.

Bears look to continue winning streak against hapless Jaguars

After thoroughly thrashing the Dallas Cowboys in the mecca that is Dallas Cowboys Stadium, the Chicago Bears are not willing to rest on their laurels when they meet the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.

The Bears defense are coming into this game ranked 5th in points allowed, 2nd in sack percentage and 4th in interception percentage.  Credit longtime LB’s Lance Briggs and Brian Urlacher lead the team with 21 tackles each, but they themselves credit the overall team defense.

“The one thing that stands out is our defensive line; our pass rush,” Briggs said. “We have been getting after a lot of quarterbacks. It’s hard to be successful offensively if the defensive line is getting the pressure they’re getting.  Offenses are all about timing. If our defense is getting up to that second level and moving quarterbacks, either getting them on the ground or making them throw the ball before they want to, that is glaring for me. That is the one thing that stands out.”

It should be noted that 13 of the Bears 14 sacks came at the hands of the defensive line. A point Urlacher made clear.

“Anytime you can play zone coverage and get pressure with four, you get more sets of eyes on the quarterback,” Urlacher said. “They can break on the football, and I think that’s why we’ve gotten the picks. The sacks are coming, obviously, (but) even when we’re not getting sacks, we’re getting pressure, which is a good thing.”

The Jaguars, who won against the Colts in week three have lost to the Vikings, Texans and Bengals and are now looking to make changes to the team’s lineup against the Bears.

“Wherever we have to,” Coach Mularkey said when asked if changes would be made.  “If somebody’s playing better than someone else we will make the change, yes.”

Be sure to get your tickets to the Bears next home game, October 22nd game against the Detroit Lions.

 

Rodgers Leads Packers Past Bears to Top N.F.C. Seed

With the Packers nursing a 4-point lead early in the third quarter and the Lambeau Field crowd nervously quiet, Rodgers led the Packers on three straight touchdown drives to put the game out of reach.

The victory gives Green Bay (14-1) home-field advantage for the playoffs. The Bears (7-8), who have lost five in a row since losing quarterback Jay Cutler to a broken right thumb, were eliminated from playoff contention, clearing the way for the Atlanta Falcons to qualify as at least a wild card.

“To be able to be a part of something special like this has been incredible,” Rodgers said in a television interview after the game. “Great night tonight for us, securing that No. 1 seed.”

Chicago was able to stay in the game until the third quarter with solid defense and tough running by the third-string running back Kahlil Bell, who had 89 yards in the first half and finished with 121.

With the Bears trailing by 14-3 at halftime, quarterback Josh McCown found Earl Bennett wide open for a 49-yard gain to set up first-and-goal on the 1. Bell fumbled on the next play, but offensive lineman Edwin Williams recovered the ball for a touchdown, and the Bears cut the lead to 14-10.

Rodgers answered by dropping deep and throwing a rainbow pass to Jordy Nelson, who blew past Bears safety Major Wright and hauled in the ball for a 55-yard touchdown.

Rodgers showed his running ability on the Packers’ next possession, juking his way between Bears linebackers Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs on a scramble. Rodgers finished the drive with a 7-yard touchdown to James Jones. A few minutes later, after an interception by Packers safety Charlie Peprah, Rodgers connected with Nelson for a 2-yard score, giving the Packers a commanding 35-10 lead.

Rodgers was 21 of 29 for 283 yards with no interceptions when the backup Matt Flynn took over for Rodgers with 7 minutes 54 seconds left in the game.

“Now we’re going to enjoy the rest of our Christmas with our families,” Rodgers said.

Playing with a patchwork offensive line because of injuries, the Packers used their no-huddle offense and bootlegs by Rodgers to keep the Bears’ pass rush off balance early.

Rodgers started quickly, driving the Packers 80 yards on their first possession and finishing with a 2-yard touchdown pass to Jermichael Finley. The Bears responded with a drive featuring Bell, who started with Matt Forte and Marion Barber out injured. Chicago drove into Green Bay territory, but then committed back-to-back penalties. Robbie Gould missed a 49-yard field-goal attempt wide right.

The Packers’ offense slowed down from there, and some more hard runs by Bell had the Bears threatening to score again early in the second quarter. Clay Matthews picked a pass by McCown out of the air for an interception on a second-and-5 play at the Green Bay 22, ending the drive.

The Packers have beaten the Bears four times this year. Green Bay beat Chicago in the 2010 regular-season finale, in the N.F.C. championship game and at Soldier Field on Sept. 25.

PETERSON HAS TORN A.C.L. Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson tore a ligament in his left knee Saturday when he took a direct hit in a 33-26 win over the Washington Redskins. A magnetic resonance imaging exam showed the anterior cruciate ligament tear after the team returned to Minnesota.

Peterson said that he knew “it was something bad” the moment he was hit and that he was in “severe pain.” He was hurt when tackled by Redskins safety DeJon Gomes at the end of a 3-yard gain on the first offensive play of the second half.

The injury will probably sideline Peterson for nine months; he probably will not return for the start of next season.