Defense gets back to their old ways: The defense got two scores with Zach Bowman recovering a Beanie Wells fumble in the Cardinals end zone and Charles Tillman returning an interception for a touchdown. The defensive line I felt dominated the Cardinals offensive line as expected. Julius Peppers who has been struggling the lately has picked it up these past couple games. The veteran was too much for rookie left tackle Nate Potter, beating him for three sacks.
Israel Idonije filled in for Henry Melton at three technique defensive tackle and played well at the position, generating four tackles and a sack. He and Stephen Paea did a great job in the middle of that line shutting down run attempts up the middle.
It was a dominating defensive performance against an utter bad Cardinals offense.
Offensive stars came out to play: Brandon Marshall and Matt Forte headlined the Bears offensive attack. It started off with Forte running the ball very effectively in the 1st half before re-aggregating his injured ankle. The offensive line did a superb job run blocking for Forte in that half as Forte finish the game with 88 yards off 12 rushes. The Cardinals secondary last week bracketed wide receiver Calvin Johnson with Patrick Peterson trailing and a safety over the top of him; the assumption coming into this game is that they would do the same against Marshall which wasn’t the case.
The Cardinals gave Peterson the opportunity to play Marshall one-on-one throughout the game. It was a back-and-fourth battle between one of the league’s best WR’s against arguably the best cornerback in the game. Peterson was able to hold Marshall to under 100 yards, but wasn’t able to stop him from getting into the end zone.
Game Balls: On offense, it’s easy to give it to Marshall or Forte. However, the offensive line I felt did a fantastic job in both the pass and run department. Gabe Carimi had his best game of the season against Darnell Dockett and Sam Acho. The Bears hope Carimi can carry on this performance next week against Detroit Lions DE Cliff Avril.
On defense, Peppers had a monster game and it couldn’t come at a better time. Before the game, former Bears defensive linemen Dan Hampton came out earlier in a pre-game show and criticize Peppers for his play during the team’s losing streak. Peppers responded with a three sack performance; resembling the player the Bears signed a couple years ago.
What the win means: The Bears took care of business against a bad football team. It was a dominating defensive performance that took the attention off a shaky Jay Cutler performance. The Bears will need to win next week against the Lions and have the Green Bay Packers beat the Minnesota Vikings later on that day in order to get into the playoffs. The Lions will love to play spoiler to the Bears by knocking them out of playoff contention, so the Bears will need to be on their A game.
The Vikings win over the Houston Texans put Bears fans on notice that they are very capable of beating a contender. Bears fans got to hope the Packers are very hungry to keep that second seed.