Getting past Washington in D.C. will give the Bears two weeks to heal and set themselves for a run through the toughest part of their schedule — Green Bay, Detroit, Baltimore, St. Louis. The Bears have not held an opponent to fewer than 21 points and now being forced to go with a rookie middle linebacker won’t make that any easier against a succession of quarterbacks with different and difficult styles.
1. Cincinnati Bengals (4-2) W 24-21
Bears were being run out 21-10 and down 325-97 in yardage midway through the third quarter. Jay Cutler takes control of fourth quarter and fourth-down Matt Forte run sets up winning Brandon Marshall TD pass.
2. Minnesota Vikings (1-4) W 31-30
Jay Cutler directs second straight fourth-quarter comeback, finishing with TD pass to Martellus Bennett as defense “holds” AP to 100 yards but zero TDs or breakaways.
3. @ Pittsburgh Steelers (1-4) W 40-23
A 24-3 lead erodes to 27-23 before offense rallies to hold off a reeling Steelers team done in by five turnovers vs. no takeaways. Jay Cutler goes for controlled offense, with zero interceptions in smart win over difficult “D.”
[MORE: Breaking down the Bears' balance]
4. @ Detroit Lions (4-2) L 40-32
Jay Cutler throws three INT’s and loses a fumble for a Detroit TD as the Lions score 27 points in the second quarter, 24 unanswered, as offense, defense and ‘teams all contribute to loss.
5. New Orleans Saints (5-1) L 26-18
New Orleans remains the only undefeated NFC team after Bears early mistakes (three sacks in the first 12 plays, two fumbles in the first four) undercut any chance to catch a good conference rival.
6. New York Giants (0-6) W 27-21
Brandon Jacobs runs for 106 yards but Jay Cutler puts up fifth 90-plus passer rating with 2 TD passes to Brandon Marshall as Eli Manning throws 3 picks, one for a pick-six.
7. @ Washington Redskins (1-4) Sun., Oct. 20, noon
RDIII throws for 246 yards, runs for 77 more and Washington out-gains Dallas 433-213 – and loses as Cowboys’ Dwayne Harris nets 222 return yards, 86 on a TD punt return.
8. OFF WEEK
9. @ Green Bay Packers (3-2) Mon., Nov. 4, 7:30
Injury riddled Packers go to Baltimore and run up 468 total yards in 19-17 win over Ravens as Eddie Lacy runs for 120 yards and defense sacks Joe Flacco five times.
10. Detroit Lions (4-2) Sun., Nov. 10, noon
Detroit outscores Cleveland 24-0 in the second half as Matthew Stafford passes for 3 TDs for franchise-record 19th time and Lions manage a road win.
11. Baltimore Ravens (3-3) Sun., Nov. 17, noon*
Joe Flacco passes for 342 yards but is sacked five times and Ravens convert just two of 14 third downs. Ray Rice and run game nets just 47 yards.
12. @ St. Louis Rams (3-3) Sun., Nov. 24, noon*
Rams add to Houston Texans’ growing problems with blowout (38-13) to give Texans fourth straight defeat with Sam Bradford methodically completing 12 of 16 for 117 yards but 3 TDs.
13. @ Minnesota Vikings (1-4) Sun., Dec. 1, noon*
Matt Cassel starts ahead of Christian Ponder, but with Josh Freeman waiting in the wings, maybe not for long after offense goes without a TD for 59 minutes in a game overshadowed by the death of Adrian Peterson’s son.
14. Dallas Cowboys (3-3) Mon., Dec. 9, 7:40 p.m.
Nothing fixes problems like help from a division rival struggling and coach Jason Garrett keeps critics at bay for one more week with defense that gives Washington yards but only one TD.
15. @ Cleveland Browns (3-3) Sun., Dec. 15, noon*
Brandon Weeden returns to the starting lineup for injured Brian Hoyer and ends a comeback against Detroit with underhand desperation pass that is intercepted.
16. @ Philadelphia Eagles (3-3) Sun., Dec. 22, noon*
A road win over Tampa Bay comes with another 30-point output from an offense that is No. 1 in rushing and seems to be working with Nick Foles at QB.
17. Green Bay Packers (2-2) Sun., Dec. 29, noon*
* Subject to flex scheduling.