NFL-best NFC North just will not let Bears pull away
November 5, 2012, 1:31 pm
The 51-20 win at Tennessee kept the Bears (7-1) a game behind Atlanta for the best record in the NFC. The Falcons have a difficult meeting at New Orleans next weekend but the Bears get AFC-best Houston Sunday night.
But the Bears cannot afford to look up or too far forward. The NFC North is the only division with no team sub-.500. Even Minnesota has come crashing back to the pack, the Bears have won six straight but Green Bay, the only second-place team in the NFL with six wins, has won four straight and Detroit three of its last four.
Indianapolis Colts (5-3) W 41-21
Balanced identity established with 33-35 run pass ratio and “O” runs up 428 yards with Jay Cutler throwing for 333 yards and 2 TD’s to go with rushing TD’s by Michael Bush (2) and Matt Forte (1) as part of 122 rushing yards. Nice to have caught this team while Andrew Luck was still a puppy.
@ Green Bay Packers (6-3) L 23-10
Jay Cutler berates offensive linemen on national TV for seven sacks; linemen just have to accept Cutler’s four INT’s apparently. Embarrassing offensive performance all around as defense holds Aaron Rodgers and Pack to 3 FG’s and one TD.
St. Louis Rams (3-5) W 23-6
Defense sacks Sam Bradford six times and holds Rams out of the end zone. Offense scores only one TD for the second week in a row and Jay Cutler continues to find a groove with receivers.
@ Dallas Cowboys (3-5) W 34-18
Five interceptions of Tony Romo, two returned for TDs (Briggs, Tillman) and a workmanlike 360 yards on offense produce a crucial road win on MNF against the most overrated (annually) team in the NFL.
@ Jacksonville Jaguars (1-7) W 41-3
Bears offense runs up 501 balanced yards (214 rush, 287 pass) and explodes after a sluggish first half. Briggs and Tillman make NFL history with TD interceptions for second straight week and Brandon Marshall puts up 144 yards on 12 catches.
Sun., Oct. 14 Off week
vs. Detroit Lions (4-4) W 13-7
Jay Cutler sacked five times and survives Ndamukong Suh’s WWF takedown. Bears RB’s net 132 yards as run game clicks. Offense can’t put Lions away but Charles Tillman D on Calvin Johnson virtually locks Bears DB into a 2nd Pro Bowl.
vs. Carolina Panthers (2-6) W 23-22
Robbie Gould 41-yard FG as time expires caps 16-point fourth quarter and rally from 19-7 deficit. Offense and defense struggle badly for three quarters but Kellen Davis catches TD pass and Tim Jennings TD return to turn back Cam Newton and reeling Ron Rivera team.
@ Tennessee Titans (3-6) W 51-20
Charles Tillman’s bid for defensive player of the year got a boost from four forced fumbles, Brian Urlacher returned an INT for a touchdown and Corey Wootton scored on a blocked punt. Jay Cutler throws three TDs to Brandon Marshall in a game Bears led 28-2 after one quarter.
Houston Texans (7-1) Sun., Nov. 11, 7:20 p.m
Arian Foster carries 24 times for 111 yards and Andre Johnson catches nine for 118 in easy win over Buffalo. Think Mario Williams misses Houston or the Texans miss him more? Now let the “Super Bowl preview?” hype begin. Next: at BEARS
@ San Francisco 49ers (6-2) Mon., Nov. 19, 7:30 p.m.
A rest week for 49ers before home games vs. St. Louis and MNF with the Bears.
Vikings (5-4) Sun., Nov. 25, noon
Three losses in four weeks as Christian Ponder keeps collapsing (sub-70 passing yards second week in three) as Vikings waste a 182-yard run game by Adrian Peterson in road loss to Seattle. Next: vs. Detroit
Seattle Seahawks (5-4) Sun., Dec. 2, noon
Taking care of Minnesota 30-20 at home keeps Seahawks within hailing distance of San Francisco. A cross-country trip by the bumbling Jets should be a momentum-builder Seattle. Next: N.Y. Jets
@ Minnesota Vikings (5-4) Sun., Dec. 9, noon
Green Bay Packers (6-3) Sun., Dec. 16, noon
Injuries continue to be a concern (Bryan Bulaga, Clay Matthews, Jordy Nelson, severity uknown)) but Aaron Rodgers still throws for four TDs vs. Arizoa despite completing just 47 percent. No sign of letting the Bears pull away. Next: Off
@ Arizona Cardinals (4-5) Sun., Dec. 23, 3:15 p.m.
Losing streak reaches five as Cards become an afterthought after a sparkling start. Maybe a break will help. Probably not. Next: Off
@ Detroit Lions (4-4) Sun., Dec. 30, noon
After 1-3 start, Detroit has won three of four, beating Jacksonville with Mikel Leshoure and Joique Bell combining for 143 rushing yards and Calvin Johnson catching seven for 129 despite a bad knee. Next step is to keep Vikings sliding. Next: @ Minnesota
Tags: San Francisco 49ers
, Minnesota Vikings
, Houston Texans
, Chicago Bears
, Green Bay Packers
, Detroit Lions