Cutler, Bears Back to Vanquish Vikings – Seahawks Hover – Packers Loom Large

The Chicago Bears returned to winning ways with Cutler’s return, as Michael Bush and the defense drove an 18-point victory through the Vikings to end a 2- game losing streak.  The Bears’ win combined with the Packers’ stultifying loss to the Giants put the Bears in sole possession of first place in the NFC Central.

The Bears’ defense showed up this week to cause a slew of turnovers, including Adrian Peterson’s 2 fumbles and Chris Conte’s interception. Michael Bush had 2 short rushes for TDs and Cutler hit Matt Spaeth for another from inside the red zone.  The day was a smashing success for the Bears who now stand at 8-3.  However the question of quality wins still remains.  This win was only the second against a team with a record over .500, while over the coming weeks the Bears will be tested by opponents that all have winning records.

Even in winning the Bears suffered losses.  Forte, Hester and Tillman were injured and will be question marks against Seattle.  But with Cutler back the Bears have a renewed sense of confidence and the Seahawks should provide Chicago with another point in the win column.

The true test will come in 3 weeks when Green Bay comes to town in a game that should be flexed (it’s currently slated for a 12pm start) into primetime as a national showcase. The Bears are alive and kicking, but the Pack tends to arrive prepared and motivated for a hyper-competitive game with its historical adversary.  Cutler will need to lead the Bears to a higher level to play on the same field as Rogers and the Pack defense.  This will not be the same Packers that threw away their fortunes to the Giants.  The NFC Central first-place Bears have no cause for insecurity against Green Bay. The Cutler difference is remarkable; the Bears are 32-19 with him under center since 2009.  If not for a broken thumb suffered in the 2011 NFC title game, the Bears could’ve faced the Steelers.  The O-line needs to keep him alive to get back to the title game. They did a good job against the Vikes, but they weren’t able to stave off SF or Houston.  Fears for inconsistency will dog them until they prove they can keep the Pack at bay within Soldier Field on December 16th.

While I can afford to look ahead at the Pack, the Bears cannot.  The Seahawks must be vanquished this weekend.