By S.C. Zuba
The Chicago Bears were down by two points against the Seattle Seahawks when Jay Cutler threw a high pass caught by Devin Hester, leading to a 39-yard touchdown to give the Bears a 25-19 lead with just less than 2 minutes to go in the fourth quarter.
It seemed as though Cutler and Hester had practiced this play a million times. Cutler rifles the ball to where only Hester can get it. Hester goes up and then dances into the end zone—untouched. Beautiful.
For Bears fans, it is almost surreal to have a quarterback under center who can actually win the game and not just “manage” it. Cutler looked calm and collected as he rallied the Bears back from an early 13-0 deficit.
The Seahawks were severely wounded as they were playing without eight starters and their star quarterback, Matt Hasselbeck. But back-up quarterback Seneca Wallace was able to engineer a 57-yard scoring drive that ended with a 39-yard touchdown pass to Julius Jones that should have been stopped by Charles Tillman. The touchdown gave Seattle an early 7-0 lead.
The Bears may have come out a little bit cocky after beating the defending Super Bowl champions in their home debut and then facing a weak Seattle team from an even weaker division. The Seahawks, however, came ready to play. The first half ended with the Bears down 13-7.
Cutler was able to calm his team in the second half, and put some points on the board—thanks in part to the Seahawks’ wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh, who fumbled the ball on the Seahawks’ first possession of the second half. The fumble set up a 7-yard touchdown pass to Bears rookie Johnny Knox.
Houshmandzadeh had called out the Bears’ organization earlier in the week, saying, “Man, the Bears ain’t holler at me,” he said. “Jerry Angelo probably didn’t even think I could play. So I’m going to show him Sunday.” Houshmandzadeh caught four passes for 35 yards, not exactly impressing Angelo.
The Bears went on to win the game 25-19, improving their record to 2-1. The Bears are now tied with Green Bay for second place in the NFC North division, and they trail Minnesota, who is 3-0, thanks to a miracle touchdown pass by none other than Brett Favre with just seconds to go in the fourth quarter.
In their next four games, the Bears face the Detroit Lions, Atlanta Falcons, Cincinnati Bengals and the Cleveland Browns. Based on the performance of these teams so far this season, the Bears have a good chance to win their next four games.
Next week, the Bears will look to improve their record to 3-1 as they head home to face the Lions, who won their first game in the past two seasons against the Washington Redskins.
The Lions will surely be hungry for another victory, and it is the Bears’ job to begin a new losing streak for the Lions.
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From the September 30 – October 6, 2009 issue