Sunday night wrap-up: Cutler taking charge


The Bears went long stretches without doing much, but at the end of the night, they had the better quarterback on the field, and that made all the difference.

While Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger struggled to hang onto the ball, only to make the game interesting, Bears quarterback Jay Cutler kept the game boring for long stretches, but made plays when it mattered most.

Cutler’s 17-yard touchdown pass to Earl Bennett capped a nine-play drive late in the fourth quarter, helping the Bears secure a 40-23 win over the Steelers.

Cutler didn’t break into triple digits in passing yards for the longest time, but kept his team from making silly mistakes. He also scrambled for a first down on the game-clinching drive, and hit Brandon Marshall downfield as they converted third down after third down.

It wasn’t statistically pretty (159 yards passing isn’t going to do much for his fantasy teams), but it was smart, and collected, and other qualities that haven’t always been attributed to Cutler.

While we’re still three games into his relationship with head coach Marc Trestman, they’re 3-0, and having the quarterback doing smart things with the ball is a large part of the reason why.

Here are five more things we learned during Sunday Night Football:

1. Any beef Steelers wideout Antonio Brown had with offensive coordinator Todd Haley is probably over, for good reason.

Brown had a monster night, finishing with nine catches for 196 yards and two touchdowns.

He also made one of the highlight plays of the season so far, an amazing one-handed touchdown grab which made you grateful for automatic replay reviews of scoring plays, because it allowed you to see it many more times.

He and Haley appear to have made up.

2. There have been many changes in Chicago, but they still play an opportunistic style of defense.

Major Wright’s interception return for a touchdown was one of five turnovers forced on the night, and two of them ended up in the end zone immediately.

Part of that can be attributed to the Steelers offense, which is moving out of ineptitude, albeit slowly. But Wright also forced a Felix Jones fumble, showing the kind of aggressive and instinctive play the Bears were known for under former coach Lovie Smith. Defensive end Julius Peppers returned a fumble for a score late, showing they can make plays from many angles.

If defensive tackle Henry Melton’s knee injury is serious, it throws a kink in their plans, but they still have many playmakers on that side of the ball, and cornerback Charles Tillman isn’t 100 percent because of a groin injury.

3. The Steelers entered the game with 102 combined starts among their offensive line.

And they’re still working out how to best deploy those kids.

They used Kelvin Beachum at both tackle spots during the first half, replacing both Marcus Gilbert and Mike Adams at different points.

The season-ending injury to center Maurkice Pouncey is something beyond their control, but some of the other problems are well within their grasp.

Figuring out a combination of five would help, but it also points out that the Steelers haven’t hit on some recent picks at quite the rate they’re generally given credit for.

Gilbert and Adams are second-round picks, picked when you’re counting on players being solid starters, at least. Watching them struggle shines a little light on a personnel process that is traditionally good, but isn’t flawless.

4. Speaking of offensive lines, the Bears’ looks utterly professional.

That hasn’t always been the case, but after plugging a pair of rookies into the right side, the Bears are protecting Cutler and running the ball well after three games.

First-round guard Kyle Long and fifth-round tackle Jordan Mills have held up and then some, as part of a rebuilt group. Bringing in free agents Jermon Bushrod and Matt Slauson to go with holdover center Roberto Garza has given them an entirely new look up front, and it’s a good one.

5. It sure looked like Steelers running back Jonathan Dwyer was guilty of a penalty for lowering his head and leading with the crown of his helmet in the first half.

But it’s entirely possible officials are still wrestling with how to call it, especially in the wake of last week’s Jackie Battle call (the Titans back was fined but not penalized on the field).

For a rule so heavily discussed this offseason, it’s hard to tell anyone understands it well enough to call it consistently.

81 responses to “Sunday night wrap-up: Cutler taking charge

  1. Steelers 0-3
    Giants 0-3
    Redskins 0-3

    This season hasn’t started the way many thought. All three were considered strong playoff contenders. Now? Now their only hope is to play spoilers for their rivals and division opponents.

  2. This game was NOT about cutler. Their whole game plan was “lets throw 4 yd passes all night and watch the steelers offense implode and give us points.”

    It worked to perfection.

  3. Hahahahahaha! Bears turned the Steelers into mincemeat. You rotten fans (I.e. Nofoolnodrool) totally deserve the humiliation you’re getting. Go Ravens!!!

  4. Nice game Steelers. The turnovers killed you guys, but there was certainly no quit. I think the AFC North games are still going to be close, bruising games. Good luck the rest of the season.

  5. Cmon Steelers! I mean even the Brownies won this week.

    You may not be able to name half the guys on our defense, but atleast they can keep up with their receivers.


  6. Steelers need to blow up the offense and the defense isn’t too far behind it.

    Hailey’s going to take the brunt of the critisizm for ruining this offense and rightfully so. The play calling alone leaves a lot to be desired. Roethlisberger doesn’t look comfortable doing anything anymore. The o-line doesn’t look comfortable doing anything. Meanwhile the ‘D’ can’t create a turn-0ver for nothing. Not to mention the fact that they give receivers a free pass for 10 to 15 yards coming off the line of scrimage. I can see not wanting to get beat deep, but how about giving the QB a harder target to hit.

    A lot of things aren’t working anymore and it’s difficult to see if or when they will start. This is a top 5 draft pick in the making and don’t count out challanging the 0-16 mark set by the Lions a few years back.

    Bold frustrated-post-blow-out prediction: Steelers finish the season 2-14

  7. Wow, ended up being a lot closer than originally thought. I’m happy for the win but the lapses on the defensive side of the ball make me nervous. If it were against a more offensively gifted team, I’m not sure if the outcome would have been the same. However, a win is a win. Go Bears!!

  8. To all my steeler “friends” who were so quick to jump on Joe Flacco and the Ravens for whipping the Texans today. Let’s see, you are now 0-3 and we are 2-1. Ben was responsible for 3 turnovers today and Joe had NONE. The Ravens have not given up a TD in 2 games. The Steelers look terrible. Antonio Brown finally showed up. You still have no running game.

    Now start talking.

  9. I don’t care how good Antonio Brown was tonight…His hit on Conte at the end makes him a punk.

    And if Anthony Walters doesn’t rough the kicker, Pittsburgh loses by 30.

  10. The Bears were definitely the better team but that conservative offense they had in the 2nd half almost cost them. Luckily Cutler bailed them out again in the 4th quarter when it matters.

  11. Chicago has played 2 playoff teams from last season and beat them both. green bay has played 2 playoff teams from last season and they lost to both teams. NOW CUTLER TOOK CHARGE TONIGHT!
    the Steelers didnt look like they belong on the same field as the Bears 40-23 and the game was worse than the score. Cutler looked like Montana in the first half. 3-0 and the Lions are next

  12. The refs just felt bad for the steelers and didn’t want to pour it on even more by flagging the crown if the helmet run.

    Gotta let the little tikes feel good about something yknow.
    Tonkin might give that bug eyed stare where you wonder if he knows what’s going on.

    Hey pretty rings!
    Pull out those rings steelers fans and count them. Now subtract 6 and that’s how many wins you have!

  13. Us Browns fans are leaving the lights on in the basement for you Steelers fans Enjoy! Don’t mess up the place as we may be back. 🙂 I hope not however.

  14. What bothered me about this game is they did not try and hurry up and score before the end of the half, and with 5 mins left needing two scores and a stop they were not going no-huddle. They were not trying hard enough to win. That is coaching.

  15. But the steelers win because of all the style points Ben racked up by throwing over 400 yards…..oh wait. I’ll take Flacco’s 170 yards and a “W” every weeks

  16. Has anyone else noticed that during training camp and the preseason every time an ex-Packer, who now plays for the biqueens, even farted MF would post a story. We were force fed to the point of nausea a steady diet of Bishop and Jennings updates. I guess an 0-3 start by the team who had the league’s most successful draft and picked up several top FAs plus has this past season’s MVP isn’t news worthy?

    Congrats to Da Bears on their 3-0 start.

  17. Where are those Steeler fans that make sure they have the first comment on all Ravens posts?

    Ben made it interesting for awhile. I thought at one point that they might even pull it out. The line is atrocious though and even a HOF QB has to have some guys in front of him. Once the Bears abandoned the Prevent, the line just couldn’t hack it.

    Too bad, I coveted some of the Oline picks in recent years and thought that it would come together for them this season. Now it looks like Pouncy was the only really solid linemen they got.

  18. Put a fork in us, we are done. Stats don’t lie. it would take a miracle for an 0-3 team like ours to turn it around this year.

  19. Time for serious re-tooling in Pittsburgh. Trade Big Ben while still valuable (get a few good draft choices ala Dallas and Herschel Walker). Time also for Todd and Mike to move on, too. It will be painful at first, but rewarding down the road.

  20. Bears fan, just sit down. We(America) have been here before. The Bears start out fast. Then they fade. We(America) will patiently wait for Cutler to play like Cutler, and then the fade will begin.

  21. Packers fans are hiding from me.
    when last we posted you were saying that I was a dummie. remember? but truthfully I told you that the Bengals would beat Green bay and send them into the bye week 1-2. I also told you Chicago would beat the Steelers to go 3-0. now here comes the last part again Chicago will beat the Lions and take control of the North with a 4-0 record. STOP HIDING and post man this is football not life

  22. Yes, the ‘Crown of the Helmet’ rule has yet to be called in all of my viewings, and I saw at least 4 times yesterday when it should have been called.

    Kudos to Cutler, but has he turned the corner?

  23. The only thing better than a Steeler loss is the relative quiet on the message boards the next morning.

    Last place, Steelers! Get used to it. The Browns are better than you!

  24. Where’s the troll slayer NOFOOONODROOL? Looks like the Cowardly Lyin’ is AWOL this morning. Better get back to the base, Skippy so you can drop and give me 20!

  25. What do the Browns, Raiders, Bills and Cardinals have in common? Aside from being perennial bottom-feeders, they also all currently have a better record than Pittsburgh.

  26. Wow the Steelers are really in trouble. Just too old at too many positions. They really need to determine why their recent drafts have been so unproductive. Is it Colbert? Is it Tomlin? Is Art II up to the task of fixing the problems.

    At least we’ll have a couple years of high draft choices.

  27. Yes we steelers suck this year… So Pitt fans no room for talk or crying… We have no direction. and getting too old with players…

    But 6 SB’s people… Respect that.. I’m not one to trash other teams…. Infantile that is..

    good luck to all you fans out there… My thoughts…. A bears/Broncos SB this year… But watch out for Seattle……

  28. The steelers need to get back to the lab and get the offensive fixed in a major way. They are given Big Ben no time at all, a big part of why they are having so many turnovers. Lots of regular seasons games left. They need to fix the line if there going to start winning any games.

  29. onbucky96 says:
    Bears fan, just sit down. We(America) have been here before. The Bears start out fast. Then they fade. We(America) will patiently wait for Cutler to play like Cutler, and then the fade will begin.


    Just a friendly reminder that Lovie is no longer the head coach.

  30. No one wants to play for Todd Haley. His demeanor and worn out offensive( and I mean really offensive) game plans are easily counteracted by any defense in the league. 2 and 8 since last November validates the claim. Cleveland won by getting rid of Richardson, Pittsburgh can win by getting rid of Haley. The year is over. Own your bad decision Mr. Rooney and start over.

  31. Roethlisberger The Human Turnover has played the past two seasons like he wants out of Pittsburgh. And if all you Apologists had a clue, you would be rooting for SuperBen to be granted his wish.
    He stinks.
    As for Tomlin: We live in a age in which coaches can longer stay in one spot for 10, 12, 15 years. Their message becomes stale and their techniques become predictable. Tomlin’s expiration date is upon us.
    The Rooneys need to trade Roethlisberger in the offseason for some draft picks, and both Tomlin and Colbert need to be seriously evaluated. This isn’t about being 0-3; this is about being 8-12 over the past 20 games and staying competitive for the next decade or so.
    The Pittsburgh Steelers are not immune from turning into the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Those six trophies don’t mean squat moving forward.

  32. 6 supers bowls means just that super. Really means squat . That reminds me when I was at a Broncos game against the steelers and this genius starts yelling that my team was nothing and never did anything…. Yeah my team had 4 superbowls and numerous conference championships and the Broncos… 0 SB’s…. smart dude… lmao… Every team has bad games or seasons….

    Monday Arm chair prognosticators with opinions how they would run a team…. All the griping will not change anything…. Their team…. Their business… Heinz field will still sell out…..

    Come on with the thumbs down and ridiculous replies…

  33. agrorb:
    I’d love to give you a “thumbs down,” but I have no idea what you said.
    If you are insinuating that a pro football blog is not the proper place to voice any concerns about one’s favorite team, here’s a suggestion: Go join a fan club.
    Any coach who would cut his team’s most productive running back and best pass-blocker, that coach deserves to be questioned and ridiculed.

  34. Commentators have always said Pittsburgh fans are among the most knowledgeable in the NFL. We demonstrate knowledge through honest analysis. A friend just asked me if we’ve entered a bizarro world where his Dolphins are suddenly 3-0 and my Steelers are 0-3. I told him there’s nothing bizarre about it. The Dolphins have finally addressed some of their issues while we’ve allowed ours to fester or compounded them with poor decisionmaking. Fielding great or lousy football teams has nothing to do with mystique. It’s about skill and planning. We’ve planned poorly–and there’s no reason our knowledgeable fans shouldn’t say so.

  35. I wish you lived here among us, Deb. Then you would know just how unknowledgeable most local Steelers fans truly are.
    Last week, a co-worker — this person never misses a Steelers game on TV, attends training camps every summer and wears as much Steelers apparel as the law allows — informed me that Haley must go.
    When quizzed further about Haley, this person had no idea who Haley is or what function he performs. This person had no idea who Haley even succeeded.
    In this neck of the woods, Steelers Football is all about getting loud and proud … Never mind why or how.
    On the bright side, losing is going to thin out the heard of sheep.

  36. bobzilla

    Its total disrespect to call Big Ben the human turnover for all he has done for the team. Please spare me your stats and the whole defense carried the steelers to their superbowl wins. Bobzilla, the reality of it is, your post stink. Big Ben and the steelers have been a part of 3 superbowls more then any other team as of lately and people like you still complain.

  37. Ok starting to like this blogging so here I go…..

    Ben was throwing like Tebow Sunday night….
    Throwing into the ground 5 yards ahead of receivers…. Into double coverage when our guy was 10 yards behind them

    He he is not comfortable with the O-line or play calls.

    Coaching…. what Coaching..

    The Defense is looking old and Tired

    Our Punter is the star player so far… lol

    We have not played well since being burned by the Broncos in OT during the playoffs

    Gonna take a couple years to dig out….

    Not Crying… just the facts mam

  38. Speaking of unknowledgeable Steelers fans, along comes steelcurtainn to help prove my point. Thanks for your help, curtainn. I know I can always count on you…

  39. bob …

    Haley’s system is sound, but he may not be the guy to run it. His personality seems to rub players the wrong way. Maybe it’s time for a change with Colbert as well. Donahoe was the man … until he wasn’t. Still unsure about Tomlin.

  40. unknowledgeable fan, bobzilla…Don’t think so…..if thats what you think good for you……..your the unknowledgeable fan or better yet not even real fan just an unknowledgeable one. If you know it all, maybe you should apply for Colberts job and get it all rectified in the right direction for all us. I can’t respond to so called fans like like you anymore who continuously bash the team when you probably never even played the game before….see ya!

  41. Deb:
    I have no problem getting rid of Haley. But that’s unlikely to happen anytime soon, and here’s the reason: He’s the Pittsburgh Steelers Official 2013 Scapegoat … for both the coach and the quarterback.
    I have no allegiance towards Haley. I couldn’t care less if he goes or stays. The Steelers’ problems go much deeper than Haley. These problems started in 2008, when Bruce Almighty Arians was the OC…
    No one even noticed the Steelers’ porous offense in 2011, back when the defense was a whole lot better than it is right now.
    As I’ve said before, winning keeps fans drunk and happy…

  42. steelcurtain:
    Don’t go away mad.
    Just, you know, go away…
    I put a lot of thought into my opinions. Certainly a lot more thought goes into my comments than yours, which are basically “Big Ben Is The Best,” and “The Ravens Suck.”
    Very insightful stuff.
    The Steelers are my passion. Have been for about 5 decades.
    And you are the kind of “fan” that deserves about 20 years of losing. Problem is, we all would have to suffer with you.

  43. Who’s mad bobzilla. I certainly wouldn’t get mad at your post. Whoever said” Big Ben is the Best”. Typical of you, stating lines people never said. Very insightful post yourself. Oh and I’m the type of fan who deserves 20 years of losing. Look in the the mirror,bobzilla I’m not the one bashing my team in all my post. Sure, your entitled to your opinion but you go way overboard with some of your negative comments……. Do yourself a favor, don’t show up at Heinz field because I’m SURE Big Ben and the steelers don’t need fans like you.

  44. steelcurtainn:
    Are you still here?
    Thought you were leaving?
    I can’t afford to go to Heinz Field anymore, because they’re paying your quarterback more money than he’s worth. Roethlisberger has never outperformed his contract. Never. Too bad that money couldn’t have been better spent, like, say, for some free-agent O-linemen.
    Never mind.
    Don’t you have a Big Ben Fan Club meeting to attend?

  45. I am leaving…..but since YOU asked a question I will answer it.

    Don’t you have a Big Ben Fan Club meeting to attend?

    I sure do, to talk about not letting people like you in the stadium. You can sit at home and complain to the tv.

    Look Bobzilla, I am not here too ridicule you or be mean (by any means). Your a steeler fan, I’m a steeler fan, I don’t question your passion towards the steelers as I have been watching them 4 decades myself and have quite a passion for the team as well.(more then you know).

    I get upset with Big Ben like the rest of us.(more so the offensive line this year(so far anyways)
    I do agree Big Ben is overpaid and yes MOST of us would agree he has NOT outperformed his contract. I wish we could take some of that money and use it on offensive lineman because its quite evident we need Off lineman BAD( all across the line)if their going to continue to play like this.

    I will say this, you are entitled to say what you want. Freedom of speech, right. But in my opinion, to call the qb of your OWN team a human turnover and ridicule him over and over when the man has HELPED(<<<READ CAREFULLY) the steelers to more superbowl appearances(3) then any other qb the steelers have had since the bradshaw days……ITS JUST NOT RIGHT.

    I bet you were the same guy complaining for Terry Bradshaw to be replaced early in his career before he went on to win 4 superbowls with the greatest steelers defenses of the 70's.
    You can have the last word bobzilla as usual.

  46. I can name at least 12 other QBs who could’ve won four or more Super Bowls with the defense that just past through Pittsburgh.
    Roethlisberger’s career TD passing totals are an embarrassment. QBs are judged not on being carried by their defenses but on how many times they get their offenses into end zones.
    Roethlisberger has gone from average to horrible because of people like you blowing smoke up his behind, telling him he’s the reason it took 23 years in between Super Bowls.
    You know nothing about football or its dynamics. If you even had a clue, you’d feel foolish suggesting that one guy has been responsible for ending a Super Bowl drought.
    Roethlisberger has played some of his worst games in the postseason, including in three Super Bowls.
    Roethlisberger wouldn’t make a pimple on Bradshaw’s behind. And for you to suggest that I wanted Bradshaw replaced early in his career, that tells me you know as much about me as you know about football…

  47. Wow bobzilla, I just couldn’t resist.
    I know plenty about football, played the game, watched the game. Do not tell me what I do or don’t know. I never said anywhere Big Ben was responsible for ending a superbowl drought. Its a team game. Nice of you to draw your own conclusion as usual. Typical of you to put words in others mouth, not surprising to say the least.
    Its nice of you to SPECULATE that 12 other qbs could have won four or more superbowls with that defense you just claimed passed through Pittsburgh. Its all crap bobzilla, nothing but speculation of what you think would have happen. Nothing factual about it. Just continue on hating on Big Ben bobzilla just don’t come running to the parade if he and the steelers bring that #7 title to Pittsburgh. I’m sure you will claim its the defense who won it again. I guess the defense just brought the steelers to all 3 of their last superbowl appearances and the qb had nothing to do with it. You have the slightest idea of what your talking about. Your like no other steeler fan Ive ever talked too…..Get a clue!

  48. While you were busy playing football, too bad you never attended an English Class. Your grammar and lack of punctuations are embarrassingly horrific.

  49. Okay, now your an English Professor. (Clap, Clap)
    Typical of you to divert the subject.

    Bobzilla, I spend less then a few minutes typing these post. I wouldn’t waste my time proofreading and punctuating for you. It’s pointless! Your post are embarrassingly horrific. Good day!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!