Entering Monday night, the Chicago Bears were the underdog going into their primetime matchup featuring the best rivalry in sports. The Green Bay Packers were favored at home partly due to the fact that Jay Cutler was still sidelined and, well, Aaron Rodgers is really, really good at football.
In an eventful first quarter, the Packers lost Rodgers to a shoulder injury when defensive end Shea McClellin sacked the quarterback on a key third down in the Bears’ red zone. Rodgers immediately went back to get his shoulder checked out and wound up sitting out the remainder of the game with Seneca Wallace filling in at quarterback.
While many Packer fans can stick a small asterisk next to this one, I’ll shy away from that argument and focus on the positives for the Bears after their big time victory at Lambeau.
First off, it was reported before kickoff that Cutler expects to start this Sunday at home against the Detroit Lions which would be just three weeks after suffering a torn groin muscle — an injury that was supposed to keep him out a minimum of four weeks and probably even longer.
If this is indeed true, the Bears are in excellent shape. Why? Well, with Monday night’s win, they are now tied with the Packers and Lions at 5-3 overall and 2-1 in the division. This win not only puts them in great shape in the division, but gets them right back into the thick of things in the NFC playoff race.
What Bears fans can be most excited about at the moment, is that head coach Marc Trestman truly appears to be a quarterback whisperer as he was considered in the past. Not only was Cutler playing well prior to his injury, but backup Josh McCown has been much more than expected as a second-string quarterback.
Trestman’s system and play calling has been near flawless thus far in the season, and he’s proving that the Bears have what it takes to be a legitimate offense. Coming into this game, they were 2nd in the league in points per game at just over 30. McCown helped them score 27 and win the game without turning the ball over once.
With Chicago clicking offensively and about to get their starting quarterback on the field once again this coming Sunday, the Bears’ season outlook is growing far more positive by the day. Now all they must do is figure out how to play defense.
That was as weird typing as it was to read, I assure you. Chicago is a mess defensively, and I won’t even touch on that at the moment because this is supposed to be an encouraging piece in which fans are uplifted and can enjoy a win against their most hated rival.
As week 10 nears, look for Cutler’s status to grow more and more towards giving it a go. This game against the Lions is for first place, and Cutler sure doesn’t want to miss that opportunity.