Just like their Week 2 victory over the Minnesota Vikings, the Chicago Bears didn't make things easy, but they withstood a big comeback attempt by the Pittsburgh Steelers and grabbed a 40-23 victory on Sunday Night Football.
Jay Cutler was the hero of the day, picking up three huge third down conversions on a fourth quarter scoring drive and throwing for 159 yards and a touchdown in the game. Ben Roethlisberger did a great job of trying to get his team back in, but ultimately his 406 yards and two touchdowns were not enough as the Steelers fell to 0-3 on the season.
The Steelers turned the ball over five times in the game, and the Bears managed to go without one as they ran their record to 3-0 and grabbed a two game lead in the NFC North early in the season.
The game started out incredibly well for the Bears, as they racked up three scoring drives in the first quarter of the game. Robbie Gould booted a 47 yard field goal for the first score, Matt Forte ran in a five yard run for a touchdown for the second score, and on a 4th-and-1 play, Michael Bush ran in
a one yard touchdown to give the Bears a 17-0 lead after one quarter.
After a Steelers field goal early in the second quarter brought the score to 17-3, the Bears' defense flexed its muscles in a big way, with safety Major Wright intercepting a Roethlisberger pass and returning it 38 yards for what looked like a decisive touchdown and a 24-3 lead for the Bears.
Unfortunately, things didn't end up being that easy. The Steelers picked up a touchdown at the end of the first half when Antonio Brown snagged a 33 yard touchdown, and the Bears' lead was cut to 24-10 before halftime.
The Bears did pick up a field goal at the beginning of the third quarter to extend the lead back to 27-10, but it was all Steelers for the remainder of the quarter. Shaun Suisham kicked a 36 yard field goal to make the score 27-13, and Brown snagged a tremendous catch in the back of the end zone late in the frame to cut the Bears' lead to a slim 27-20 margin.
Things got even tighter as the fourth quarter began, as Suisham booted another field goal to trim the Bears' lead to four. With the offense having sputtered for the most part through the previous two quarters, there wasn't a whole lot of optimism on the part of Bears fans, but just like the previous two weeks, Cutler had some fourth quarter magic left in him.
On a third down and long, Cutler took off running and picked up a first down. After two failed rushing attempts, Cutler connected with Brandon Marshall down the sidelines to pick up 41 more yards and get the Bears a first down. Then, after two more plays didn't get much going for the offense, Cutler threw a tremendous ball to the corner of the end zone that receiver Earl Bennett somehow grabbed.
The play was initially ruled an incomplete pass, but after video review showed Bennett dragging his foot in the end zone, the call was overturned on Marc Trestman's challenge, and the Bears finally got some breathing room and a 34-23 lead.
Then, with one final dagger, Julius Peppers got free around the edge and snatched the ball away from Roethlisberger, and ran it back 42 yards for a touchdown and a 40-23 lead for the Bears.
With their record now standing at 3-0 on the season, the Bears will look to continue their winning ways when they face the Detroit Lions next weekend in the Motor City.