Matt Forte #22 of the Chicago Bears runs with the ball during a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on September 22, 2013 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Jay Cutler did it again. Only this time a fourth quarter comeback was resuscitation and not a necessity after a 24-3 lead.
The Bears scored on three straight possessions to open the game with a field goal and two touchdowns. The Bears are now outscoring their opponents 38-14 in the opening period. But then they let the Steelers back in.
"Getting up like that we kind of got in a protective football, slow-it-down mode," Jay Cutler admitted.
Cutler finished with 20 of 30 passing for just 159 yards, but without an interception. The Steelers woke up in the second quarter after trailing 17-0.
"I think they amped up their game," Marc Trestman said as the Steelers inserted some internal blitzes. "They played a couple of odd ball coverages, which we were finally able to unlock by getting Brandon Marshall outside on the go route."
The Bears' game plan was to attack the Steelers on the outside, as Brandon Marshall did for a 42-yard gain on third and twelve in the fourth quarter. That play kept the Bears drive alive, setting up Earl Bennett's touchdown. A four-point lead was back to 11.
"We just kept trying to keep sawing wood and working to try to make some plays," Trestman explained.
Cutler did it without turning over the football, something the Bears defense forced the Steelers into five times. Two field goals, three offensive touchdowns and a pair of defensive touchdowns? The Bears are starting to find their identity.
Trestman said the Bears offense is better because of the defense and practicing against the takeaway hungry unit every day.
"We’re able to improve" he said. "We’re able to understand the importance of taking care of the football because they’re always trying to knock it out. It’s gotten us better and it’s unique that we consistently do it on a consistent basis."
The Bears strengths are now their starts and their finishes. Through three games this season they're outscoring their opponents 38-14 in the fourth quarter.