It only took 59:50 of the second game to make it happen, but the Chicago Bears are now 2-0 under the Marc Trestman Era. The Bears could be in serious contention this year, although it’ll take some fortuitous roller coaster rides to do so. It was pretty clear from the get-go that the Vikings didn’t want to start the season 0-2. Jared Allen wreaked havoc in the Bears’ backfield all day, and Christian Ponder appeared to have remedied whatever ailed him in Detroit the week previous. Meanwhile, the Bears were moving the ball well and playing great defense which was highlighted by a Tim Jennings pick six. Cutler hit his two big targets early in the game as Martellus Bennett and Brandon Marshall each scored.
The weather was a factor as the Fox telecast was having problems throughout and the progressively chewed up field tilted the advantage to the defensive players who were more able to account for their opposing skill players. The game was close until the fourth quarter when Jay Cutler, down by one, threw an interception to Harrison Smith. The turnover seemed to be the turning point in the game. The Vikings then proceeded to march down the field by handing the ball to AP and throwing to a variety of different receivers, one of which was extended by 15 yards as the Bears were penalized for a horse-collar tackle of Jennings.
Bears’ fans have been here before and there was little cause for optimism. Christian Ponder and Leslie Frazier knew they had the best back in the league to do two things: score and run off the clock. But Lance Briggs would have none of that as he backed up Adrian Peterson for a loss of 13 yards. This forced Blair Walsh to have to nail a chip shot to give the Vikings a 30-24 lead.
The Bears would get the ball back with a little over three minutes to play. The play calling by Marc Trestman and his offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer was phenomenal. The final drive was an empty set with 5 receivers on the field. The drive saw four different receivers touch the ball. The Bears took the reigns off of Cutler in crunch time and it worked. I realize that the Bears can’t stay in this formation throughout the game, but it was relieving to see Trestman trust his quarterback after a pretty sluggish game and Cutler delivered when it mattered most.
The Bears won this game because when it came down to it the defense bent but didn’t break, and the offense lived up to the expectations of the Trestman Era. Hopefully this dramatic come-from-behind win gives Kromer a little bit more faith in Cutler to deliver more than just the two-minute drill.