After win over Panthers, Bears head to Lions den


After win over Panthers, Bears head to Lions den

Monday, Oct. 3, 2011
Posted: 9:10 a.m.

By John Mullin Bears Insider Follow @CSNMoonMullin
A win over Carolina staved off a threatening free-fall for the Bears, who now go into the Lions den, where Matthew Stafford waits. And Megatron. And Ndamukong.

Sept. 11, Atlanta Falcons (2-2) W 30-12
Jay Cutler puts up 107.8 passer rating to go with Matt Fortes 158 total yards. Defense holds Matt Ryan and Falcons O without a TD.

Sept. 18, @ New Orleans Saints (3-1) L 13-30
Forte puts up 166 total yards but Mike Martz eschews the run, Cutler is sacked 6 times, 5 in the fourth quarter.

Sept. 25, Green Bay Packers (4-0) L 17-27
More Martz mystery: 9 run calls for Forte net 2 yards, Aaron Rodgers controls the game and the ball for 37 minutes 29 seconds.

Oct. 2, Carolina Panthers (1-3) W 34-29
Matt Forte runs for 205 yards, Cam Newton passes for 374 yards and Panthers rush for 169. Hester punt return and D.J. Moore INT provide winning points.

Mon. Oct. 10, 7:30 p.m. @ Detroit Lions (4-0) Next: BEARS (MNF)
The one-time doormats nearly beat the Bears twice in 10 and now have won 12 straight (last four in 10, four preseason, first four in 11). Comeback wins over Minnesota and Dallas finally a Lions team to believe?

Sun., Oct. 16, 7:20 p.m. Minnesota Vikings (0-4) Next: vs. Arizona

Sun., Oct. 23, noon @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1) Next: vs. Indianapolis, tonight
Colts shouldnt present much of a challenge without Peyton Manning.

Oct. 30, Off week

Mon., Nov. 7, 7:30 p.m. @ Philadelphia Eagles (1-3) Next: at Buffalo
Dream Team living a nightmare after losing to San Francisco to go 0-2 at home. Michael Vick throws for 416 yards but Philly D gives up 513.

Sun., Nov. 13, noon Detroit Lions (4-0)
Sun., Nov. 20, 3:15 p.m. San Diego Chargers (3-1) Next: at Denver
Not a lot of trouble getting past Miami as Philip Rivers completes 21 of 31 and Chargers rush for 118.

Sun., Nov. 27, 3:05 p.m. @ Oakland Raiders (2-2) Next: at Houston
Raiders pile up 504 yards on Patriots defense which holds Darren McFadden to 75 on the ground.

Sun., Dec., 4, noon Kansas City Chiefs (1-3) Next: at Indianapolis
Chiefs manage first win over Minnesota but being without RB Jamaal Charles, only so much damage possible from 010 NFC West champs.

Sun., Dec. 11, 3:05 p.m. @ Denver Broncos (1-3) Next: San Diego
Kyle Orton threw 3 INTs vs. Green Bay and Willis McGahee rushed for 103 but Broncos no match for Packers machine.

Sun., Dec. 18, noon Seattle Seahawks (1-3) Next: at N.Y. Giants
Seahawks miss 61-yard FG in final seconds after coming back from 27-7 hole to lose 30-28 after doing nothing running vs. Falcons defense.

Sun., Dec. 25, 7:20 p.m. @ Green Bay Packers (4-0)
Rodgers throws for 4 TDs and 408 yards and runs for 2 more scores against over-matched Broncos.

Sun., Jan. 1, noon @ Minnesota Vikings (0-4)

Game time subject to change

Vikings handling of Sam Bradford offers object lesson for Bears transition to next QB

Vikings handling of Sam Bradford offers object lesson for Bears transition to next QB

Call it variations on a theme. The Bears on Monday night will face not only the Minnesota Vikings, but also Sam Bradford, the latest quarterback opponent that hints at possibilities in the Bears’ own future far beyond what was once the norm.

That norm is what can reasonably be expected from a new quarterback, one coming into a new system, new environment, even a new league, and having near-immediate success. Quarterback changes can involve upheaval of staff, personnel and even franchise identity, as the Bears can confirm based on their last eight years with Jay Cutler.

The experiences in Dallas, Minnesota and Philadelphia point to the kinds of quarterback transitions the Bears may be in search of after the 2016 season.

Bradford arrived in Minnesota via trade just eight days before the season opener, yet has proceeded to post the best results of his career: for completion percentage (67.5), interception percentage (0.6 percent; 7 TD’s vs. 1 INT), yards per attempt (7.4) and rating (100.3, vs. a previous best of 90.9).

More important, without the Vikings’ starting left tackle (Matt Kalil) and running back (Adrian Peterson), Bradford has the Vikings leading the NFC North and tied for the NFC lead at 5-1.

“[The Vikings] had the misfortune of losing their quarterback, they go out and make a bold move to get him and they haven’t missed a beat offensively,” said Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio. “He’s been getting better and better.”

This all holds particular relevance for the Bears, who saw Brian Hoyer step in and deliver four straight 300-yard passing games, something he’d never done in his career and no quarterback in Bears franchise history had done. Cutler’s personal best was two straight, for purposes of comparison.

The Bears are expected to have a new quarterback in some form or other next year. In the meantime they have been victimized by two rookie quarterbacks already this season (Carson Wentz, Philadelphia, and Dak Prescott, Dallas). The experience of Bradford, Prescott and Wentz, all new in 2017 to their situations, suggests chances of dramatic improvement over the Bears’ recent history with Cutler, for example.

“A good quarterback can influence the guys and make guys around him better,” Wentz said. “So it’s one of those things where the quarterback usually gets too much credit and too much of the blame as well. It’s just kind of the nature of the position.”

Prescott and Wentz were 2016 draft choices and had offseasons and training camps with their respective teams. Bradford had none of that, yet began his year throwing 130 passes without an interception.

[SHOP: Gear up Bears fans!]

How that happens may be illustrative for the 2017 Bears. The Vikings traded for Bradford, a one-time starter for the Rams and Eagles. But because of the late-offseason timing of the deal, necessitated by the season-ending leg injury for Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, Bradford had to be eased into the new offense.

“I think that’s honestly one of the bonuses of coming during the regular season,” Bradford said on Thursday. “Obviously it would’ve been nice to have some practices in training camp. But once you get into the regular season, it’s not like you have the whole playbook in each game plan. Each game plan is very specific for that week’s opponent, so it’s considerably less than would be in your training-camp installs.

“So I think that helped a little bit. But as far as it being cut down, the volume wasn’t so much cut down as how the plays were called, naming some concepts with some things I was familiar with. That really helped me.”

Bears Talk Podcast: Jay Cutler returns against one of NFL's best defenses


Bears Talk Podcast: Jay Cutler returns against one of NFL's best defenses

Jim Miller joins Pat Boyle as they discuss the return of Jay Cutler as he gets ready to face one of the toughest defense’s in football. Plus, the key to a Bears win on Halloween night.

Listen to the latest Bears Talk Podcast here: