Chicago Bears beat Carolina without Cutler
Da Bears rebounded beating the lowly Carolina Panthers after being embarassed last week by the New York Giants.
In a homecoming for Julius Peppers it was Matt Forte's career day that lead the team to victory. It only took Forte four carries to top 100 yards on his way to a career high 166 yards on 22 carries and reaching the endzone twice.
The most surprising thing about the 23-6 victory was just how bad the quarterback play was for both teams. In place of Cutler, Todd Collins started and being being relieved by Caleb Hanie. Collins almost completed as many passes to the Panthers (4) as he did to his own team (6). On the day he went 6 of 16 for 32 yards with 4 interceptions, good enough for a 6.2 QB rating.
Collins' play actually made rookie QB, Jimmy Clausen, look good before he to found himself on the bench. The former Norte Dame QB went 9/22 for 61 yards 1 interception and fumbled three times but recovered each time. The interception was a great play by defensive end Julius Pepers where he tipped the ball and ended up coming down with the ball.
The strangest series of plays came with the score 17-3 in the second quarter with the Bears in the 10 yard line. Chester Taylor ran and looked like he scored but eventually was ruled down on the one yard line. Lovie challenged but was not overturned. On the next play Taylor was stuffed on the 1 and the Panthers players got up cheering thinking they forced a fumble and recovered. Panthers' coach John Fox challenged but just like the play before the ruling on the field stood. Next on third down Todd Collins threw one of his interceptions straight to Ed Johnson.
Bears return home next week to take on the Seattle Seahawks after two week on the road. Hopefully quarterback Jay Cutler will be able to play if not I would expect to see Caleb get the start instead of Collins.
Bonus note is that the Packers lost in overtime to the Redskins so Da Bears are alone in first place with a record of 4-1.