There was some hype coming into this game with between the Chicago Bears and the Indianapolis Colts. You had the number one pick in the draft, Andrew Luck going up against a strong Chicago Bears defense lead by Brian Urlacher. Most of the offseason, Bears fans were eager to see the new look offense. After adding Brandon Marshall, Michael Bush, and Alshon Jeffery in the offseason to go along with Jay Cutler and Matt Forte, most people were sold on this offense being explosive and they did not disappoint in starting the season with a victory.
When the Bears offense started out the first drive with a sack, false start, and a missed snap, I bet fans were wondering if this would be a long day. Bad Jay reared his ugly head when he threw a pick six deep in their own territory. However, the team recovered nicely from the early blunders and got rolling pretty quickly. Quarterback Jay Cutler went 21-35 for 333 yards, with 2 TDs in the season opener. His favorite target, Brandon Marshall had a great debut with 9 catches for 119 yards and a touchdown. Matt Forte was effective chipping in 80 yards rushing and a score on the ground. The other big free agent pickup for the Bears, Michael Bush, scored twice from short yardage.
Here’s a quote from Matt Forte: ”I expected it to be like that,” Forte said. “It didn’t start out that fast. I think we had first-game jitters. We then showed the resiliency of the offense to come back after giving up a turnover and a touchdown. We just came back and put a lot of points on the board.”
On defense, the Bears main objective was to spoil Andrew Luck’s NFL debut. Mission accomplished. Chicago harrassed young Mr Luck all day, sacking him twice and applying constant pressure. They also intercepted him 3 times, with Tim Jennings grabbing 2 of those picks. For a rookie that threw 3 interceptions, Luck did still look good at times, so Colts fans shouldn’t be thirsting after RGIII just yet.
The one big concern for the Bears was the health of Brian Urlacher and he made it through the game without any problems, which was helped by him sitting a lot in the second half. Getting him some rest seemed to be on Coach Lovie Smith’s mind though: “After Brian Urlacher got I think about 35 reps or so, I chose to take him out,” Smith said. “Brian wanted to play the entire game. When we told him he was coming out, it’s not like he told us that it was a great idea. [But] he knows that there’s a big picture.”
Overall, the Bears played well but this is just Week 1 and there is a lot of football to be played. Also, before they book their flights to the Super Bowl, it would be wise to remember they played the lowly Colts, who did have the first pick in the draft for a reason last year.
Lovie Smith has the right mindset: “Through the course of the year you’re going to have to fight through some adversity,” Smith said. “You might as well get it out of the way early on to see what you’re made of.”