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Jay Cutler gets back to work in fine fashion

Atlanta Falcons v Chicago Bears Getty Images

None of last year’s conference finalists came into the 2011 season with less buzz than the Chicago Bears.

That will likely change after Sunday’s convincing victory over one of this year’s hottest flavors. The Bears thumped the Falcons at Soldier Field to remind everyone that they returned the core of a pretty good team.

Jay Cutler did his best to craft a new narrative after being the target of so much scorn following his knee injury in the NFC Championship Game loss to the Packers. Cutler completed 22-of-32 passes for 322 yards. He connected with Matt Spaeth for a short touchdown and watched Matt Forte turn a short completion into a 56-yard touchdown pass. The only blemish on his day was a tipped pass by John Abraham that Kroy Biermann returned 50 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. The game was pretty well in hand at that point, however, and Cutler’s day had more than enough good to cancel out that miscue.

Forte did his bid for a new contract some good with 158 total yards and Roy Williams had a fairly productive Chicago debut with four catches for 55 yards. He did leave a bit early with a groin injury, the severity of which isn’t known at this point. The offensive line, a question mark throughout the offseason, had their troubles, but they did a good enough job to pave the way to an easy victory. Lovie Smith will probably take that exchange.

The defense was terrific throughout the game with Brian Urlacher and Julius Peppers leading the way. The duo combined for a strip sack (Peppers) and touchdown return (Urlacher) and Urlacher added a first half interception that began tipping the scales in the home team’s direction. Peppers also made a nice play to thwart a two-point conversion attempt by the Falcons after Biermann’s score.

For the Falcons, the offense probably shoulders a bigger share of the blame than the defense. They kept the game close in the first half despite two turnovers and Abraham had a strong game with two sacks and the tipped pass. The Falcons offense, meanwhile, couldn’t score a touchdown and they dropped several passes over the course of the afternoon. There was little of the attacking mentality that the Falcons talked about featuring on offense this season after they paid a hefty sum for the right to draft Julio Jones and their offensive line allowed five sacks to the frisky Bears.

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34 Responses to “Jay Cutler gets back to work in fine fashion”
  1. bigwhitey says: Sep 11, 2011 4:17 PM

    DA BEARS!!!!

  2. scudbot says: Sep 11, 2011 4:21 PM

    Cutler did okay and the Falcons looked rough. That included dropping what should have been two Cutler INTs in the first half.

  3. prideisbears says: Sep 11, 2011 4:22 PM

    Could have sworn the Falcons were going to win by 40 the way the talking heads were predicting the game.

  4. joetoronto says: Sep 11, 2011 4:22 PM

    Cutler is a girl.

  5. pudgalvin says: Sep 11, 2011 4:23 PM

    Bears left a couple td’s on the field too. Maybe the Packers will have some opposition to their perfect regular season after all.

  6. danno1212 says: Sep 11, 2011 4:26 PM

    Bears Defense gave up no TDs! Thats says it all! Go BEARS!

  7. rizza32 says: Sep 11, 2011 4:29 PM

    Not bad for the predicted divisional last place. That’s why they play the games schlereth u frigging tool

  8. stanleyhalas says: Sep 11, 2011 4:31 PM

    The bears didn’t do anything unusual. That’s how they win games

  9. drgfri says: Sep 11, 2011 4:32 PM

    Jay, you know, Cutler performed less, you know, like the girly man that he, you know, really is.

  10. obxastronaut says: Sep 11, 2011 4:35 PM

    Great that means my Packers are in 2nd place based off point-differential…

  11. doug1grohlin says: Sep 11, 2011 4:36 PM

    Man what a horrible team we have with our Bears! Saints, you’re next.

  12. beerndonuts says: Sep 11, 2011 4:41 PM

    Hmmmmm… NFC North 3, NFC South 0

    It’s been a good week for the division that put two teams into the NFC Championship last year.

  13. BlackAndGoldAllDay says: Sep 11, 2011 4:59 PM

    So happy to see the Falcons and Bucs lose today.

  14. frankrizzo51 says: Sep 11, 2011 5:02 PM

    ESPN needs to hire more people who don’t know football.

  15. coolj23 says: Sep 11, 2011 5:27 PM

    Yeah! Keep doubting the bears. Offense sells tickets defense wins championships. Keep talking HATERS!!!

  16. jeffroid says: Sep 11, 2011 5:39 PM

    Did Foolio Jones even play? Can’t find him in on the stat sheet.

  17. frankrizzo51 says: Sep 11, 2011 5:51 PM

    He was under Ryan’s skirt.

  18. turbodog1027 says: Sep 11, 2011 5:53 PM

    The Falcons are who we thought they were !!!!

  19. whitecastleisafoodgroup says: Sep 11, 2011 5:54 PM

    Suddenly, the NFC South doesn’t look so scary anymore.

  20. frankrizzo51 says: Sep 11, 2011 5:55 PM

    What do all the dopes from ESPN say now?

  21. jonathanedwardk says: Sep 11, 2011 6:22 PM

    Guess that’s why they don’t play the game on paper. Year in and year out Bears never get respect, but personally I like being the “underdog.”

  22. oxycode30 says: Sep 11, 2011 6:52 PM

    Looks like the Bears will be moving on up in the PFT POWER RATINGS! Guess the pithy commentary that the Bears would soon be moving downwards has to wait at least another week.
    Man we looked good today with room for improvement here and there. I’m looking forward to seeing what Marion Barber brings in the weeks ahead… and some more Roy Williams will be nice too. Hope the groin isn’t serious.
    Bring on the ‘Aints ~ Go Bears!

  23. balzosteel says: Sep 11, 2011 7:55 PM

    I like the Bears a lot for 3rd place in the division. What they did today was show a lot of courage and grit for a soon to be 7-9 football team. It’s not always about numbers though, the Bears try hard and that definitely counts for something!

  24. bearfan51 says: Sep 11, 2011 8:26 PM

    Trent Dilfer and Heath Evans are clowns.

  25. gpkiii says: Sep 11, 2011 8:43 PM

    no. 54 is back

  26. wafflestomp says: Sep 11, 2011 9:38 PM

    The Bears appear to be back. At least the defense sure did. They looked positively scary and Urlacher was a freakin’ beast.

    I’m really interested in seeing how the Falcons bounce back because they looked like a rough team out there today. Uninterested and ill-prepared.

    As a Packers fan, I’m looking forward to our meeting in a couple of weeks. If week 1 was any real indication of our teams, it oughta be a doozy.

    I know it’s early, but what a start for the NFC North, knocking off some quality teams.

  27. richm2256 says: Sep 11, 2011 10:03 PM

    Weren’t the Falcons everyone’s pick this week for the Super Bowl????

  28. MichaelEdits says: Sep 11, 2011 10:27 PM

    After reading about Urlacher and Peppers, I wonder how long it’s take for someone to dub them The Dynamic Duo or Salt and Peppers or something stupid like that.

  29. asublimeday says: Sep 11, 2011 11:41 PM

    Told yaaaaaaaa

  30. tangysizzl says: Sep 12, 2011 1:18 AM

    Ahh the ol Black and Blue division. Congrats Bears on a convincing win against a pretty good team.

  31. opietaylor says: Sep 12, 2011 3:06 AM

    I love the haters. East coast bias. The buffoons in NYC are the worst ie Adam Shein, Howard David, Bob Papa. Jim Miller is a righteous dude. Everyone but Mills will think Atlanta tanked. The Bears whooped em!

  32. bearsrulepackdrool says: Sep 12, 2011 3:14 AM

    Hi, Haters!

  33. Pacific NW Mark says: Sep 12, 2011 10:33 AM

    Here’s hoping the NFL punditry keeps talking about how old and slow the Bears are for at least a few more weeks.

  34. ajknox88 says: Sep 13, 2011 7:28 PM

    NFC North is going to be sending 3 teams to the playoffs.

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