Bears 20, Packers 17: Five things we learned
September, 28, 2010
By Jeff Dickerson | ESPNChicago.com
CHICAGO -- Here are five things we learned following the Bears' impressive 20-17 home win over the division rival Packers.
1. Bears are in great shape: Are you kidding me? A 3-0 start that includes a pair of wins against division rivals? The Bears are in perfect position to stack some serious wins before their next matchup with an NFC North squad -- Nov. 14 against the Minnesota Vikings. Next up, a trip to New York to face a Giants team falling apart at the seams. Then a road contest with a bad Carolina squad led by a rookie quarterback. After that, two winnable home games versus Seattle and Washington, followed by a bye, then a date in Toronto against Buffalo. Not to get too far ahead of ourselves, but this team could easily be 6-2 going into that home game with the Vikings.
2. Devin Hester accepted the Bears coaching: Leading up this game, the Bears' message to Hester on punt return was simple: stop losing yards and get the ball upfield. Look what happened. Without Hester trying to run laterally across the field, the speedster found a seam, hit the gas and took it to the house for a game-changing 62-yard touchdown. Bears special teams coach Dave Toub said earlier in the week that Hester is still the best return guy on the team. Turns out Toub was right.
3. Bears were not committed to running the ball: All week the Bears harped about the importance of running the ball effectively against the Packers. But Matt Forte only carried the ball 11 times, while the Bears' leading rusher turned out to be quarterback Jay Cutler -- 37 yards. I understand dome teams like Indianapolis and New Orleans have been very successful without a powerful running attack, but something about repeatedly throwing in cold weather later in the year doesn't sit right. However, if the Bears keep winning, what is there to complain about?
Jonathan Daniel/Getty ImagesMatt Forte carried the ball just 11 times for 29 yards against the Packers.
4. Tim Jennings is solid: Admittedly, I prefer watching Zack Bowman play left cornerback for the Bears. But I was really impressed by the way Jennings stepped in for Bowman in the second quarter. He made several nice stops in the open field, and found a way to jump on that fumble late in the game -- although Jennings initially missed the tackle on James Jones. The Bears were concerned about cornerback depth this summer, but after watching Jennings and D.J. Moore over the first few weeks, maybe that position is deeper than we all thought.
5. Jermichael Finley is a beast: The best player on the field Monday night wore No. 88 for the Packers. Finley is out of this world -- nine catches for 115 yards -- and not only has great hands, but is also strong enough to pick up extra yards after contact. Greg Olsen was certainly impressive for the Bears, but Finley is on a different level. He should be a force to be reckoned with for years to come in the NFC North.