Monday, September 28, 2009

Bears Grind Out Win Over Seahawks

Last week DC wondered "Does the QB make the WRs or vice versa?" and the question continues as the WRs make Cutler look good -
If Jerry Angelo is writing that thesis on his belief that the quarterback makes the wide receiver in the NFL, a theory Angelo brought Jay Cutler to Chicago to prove, then some minor edits are recommended.

Everybody expected Cutler to make the Bears' wide receivers better. But a week after Johnny Knox provided the fourth-quarter heroics, a second straight victory resulted from a Bears wide receiver making Cutler look pretty good.

Next thing you know, the TV show "MythBusters" will start staffing Bears games.

This time it was Devin Hester leaping high to catch a quick slant from Cutler and running away from two Seahawks defensive backs for a 36-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter that clinched the Bears' 25-19 win at Qwest Field.

It wasn't the best of throws from Cutler. But Hester never has made a catch any better, though his three other receptions Sunday weren't exactly routine.

"It's a team thing, and if Jay does his part, we're going to come out successful," Hester said.

Postgame analysis -
Lovie Smith put it best: "Every win that I've ever been a part of is pretty."

Smith's assessment is spot-on. Nobody would call the 25-19 win over the Seahawks a masterpiece, but it does show that even when they're not playing their best football, the Bears are still capable of winning games.

"This says a lot about our team," Smith said. "When you're down and things are going against you, they kept fighting. That's what good teams do."

"It's tough; Seattle is a good team," Devin Hester said. "We just showed today that we're capable of playing all four quarters. Coming out of Pittsburgh, and going to play in this tough environment and coming out with a win, that was pretty big for us today."

Many people still refuse to label Hester a true No. 1 wide receiver, but he definitely looked like one late in the fourth quarter, hauling in what proved to be a game-winning 36-yard touchdown pass.

"It was basically a slant call," Hester said. "We knew that we could get them on a quick slant, so we took advantage of it. Jay [Cutler] threw a great ball, the offensive line held up and we got it into the end zone."

Hillenmeyer injured -
The dominoes behind star linebacker Brian Urlacher kept falling. Yet fill-in Nick Roach and the Bears' defense stood tall when they had to.

Chicago finished Sunday's 25-19 victory over the Seattle Seahawks down to its third middle linebacker. Hunter Hillenmeyer got hurt two weeks after the Bears lost Urlacher, their six-time Pro Bowl selection and defensive leader, to a season-ending wrist injury.

Hillenmeyer, a seventh-year veteran, left in the third quarter with what Bears coach Lovie Smith said was a rib injury. That left Roach, a third-year veteran from Northwestern who replaced injured outside linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa earlier this month, to move inside to the middle spot in Chicago's defense.

Roach earned rave reviews from teammates and coaches after he chased Seattle's Seneca Wallace across the end zone and forced a wild, off-balance throw that Lance Briggs intercepted in the third quarter to set up a field goal.

2 straight dramatic wins -
Call it living dangerously if you must, but for the second straight week the Bears managed to win a game in the same dramatic fashion that they lost close contests a year ago.

That's life in the NFL, where victories usually come down to a few plays here and there. Thinned out even more by injuries, but not nearly as depleted as the Seahawks, the Bears prevailed 25-19 Sunday at raucous Qwest Field.

With Seattle minus nine projected starters, the Bears took a bigger punch than they probably expected, falling behind 13-0 early in the second quarter. But as has been the case under Lovie Smith, it's hard to put this group away.

The Bears didn't play particularly well, even as they climbed back into the game. But just as they rebounded against the defending champion Pittsburgh Steelers a week ago, they rallied to take control of the game in the second half and win on a Jay Cutler-led drive.

''I pride myself in that,'' Cutler said after the Bears' first victory in Seattle in 33 seasons. ''I want the ball in those situations, and I think the offense is starting to get a feel for it. The fourth quarter is where we've got to play our best, and I think we are right now.''


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