Ugly wins count as well as pretty ones and the Bears kept a two-step NFC North lead on Green Bay with their come-from-behind win over Carolina while Minnesota also lost.
After the trip to Tennessee, the Bears move into the toughest quarter of their season (Houston, at San Francisco, Minnesota, Seattle). But taking care of the Titans would bump the record to 7-1 while the division rivals struggle to stay within reach and hoping for a Chicago collapse.
Indianapolis Colts (4-3) 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 TDs to go with rushing TDs by Michael Bush (2) and Matt Forte (1) as part of 122 rushing yards.
@ Green Bay Packers (5-3) L 23-10
Jay Cutler berates offensive linemen on national TV for seven sacks; linemen just have to accept Cutlers four INTs apparently. Embarrassing offensive performance all around as defense holds Aaron Rodgers and Pack to 3 FGs 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 (3-4) 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.
@ Jacksonville Jaguars (1-6) 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 (3-4) W 13-7
Jay Cutler sacked five times and survives Ndamukong Suhs WWF takedown. Bears RBs net 132 yards as run game clicks. Offense cant put Lions away but Charles Tillman D on Calvin Johnson locked him into a 2nd Pro Bowl.
vs. Carolina Panthers (1-6) 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 (3-5) Sun., Nov. 4, noon
Titans never trail until Colts score winning TD in OT to end two-game win streak for Tennessee. Matt Hasselbeck keeps playing well, 22-for-29 passing for 236 yards and a TD. Titans defense still most scored-on in NFL by wide margin; Colts (19) first opponent held under 23 points. Next: BEARS
Houston Texans (6-1) Sun., Nov. 11, 7:20 p.m
Off last week. Next: Buffalo
@ San Francisco 49ers (6-2) Mon., Nov. 19, 7:30 p.m.
Beating Arizona gives Jim Harbaughs group a two-game lead in the NFC West. Swarming 3-4 defense makes Alex Smith a winning QB. Next: Off
Minnesota Vikings (5-3) Sun., Nov. 25, noon
Fast start has given way to freefall after losses to Washington and Tampa Bay in last three weeks. Doug Martin nets 214 combined yards. Adrian Peterson is working; Christian Ponder, not so well. On the road vs. Seahawks will be a struggle. Next: @ Seattle
Seattle Seahawks (4-4) Sun., Dec. 2, noon
Seahawks lose second straight despite leading most of the game. Lions convert 12 of 16 third downs and Seattle cant stop Matthew Stafford winning TD pass in final 20 seconds. Next: vs. Minnesota
@ Minnesota Vikings (5-3) Sun., Dec. 9, noon
Green Bay Packers (5-3) Sun., Dec. 16, noon
Without WRs Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson, Packers still handle Jaguars to keep the Bears in sight in the NFC North. Packers have won three straight by nine or more points and schedule is softer but injuries mounting. Next: vs. Arizona
@ Arizona Cardinals (4-4) Sun., Dec. 23, 3:15 p.m.
Spiral reaches four straight with MNF home loss to San Francisco. 4-0 start now just a blip as QB, OL problems wont go away but Cardinals are. Next: @ Green Bay
@ Detroit Lions (3-4) Sun., Dec. 30, noon
Matthew Stafford directs comeback win without heavy production from Calvin Johnson again. Next: @ Jacksonville