QUARTERBACK - B+
Jay Cutler (21-of-33, 242 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT, 93.2) overcame a fourth-quarter INT to drive the Bears for the winning TD. His 18-yard scramble on second-and-20 on the winning drive was key.
RUNNING BACKS - C
Matt Forte (19-50, 1 TD) and Michael Bush (6-15) combined to average 2.6 yards per carry, but Forte came through in the clutch with an 8-yard gain on fourth-and-1. Bush converted a key third-and-1 in the fourth quarter.
RECEIVERS - B+
Brandon Marshall (8-104) had 3 receptions for 63 yards and a TD in the fourth quarter. Martellus Bennett (3-49) had an early drop but made two tough catches, one for a 9-yard TD.
OFFENSIVE LINE - B
With rookies Kyle Long and Jordan Mills making their NFL debuts, the Bears did not allow a sack. The interior linemen had no false starts and no holding penalties. Mills’ aggressiveness forced a clinching roughness penalty on Bengals LB
DEFENSIVE LINE - C
An average effort was good enough, as the Bears shut down Benjarvis Green-Ellis (14-25) and Shea McClellin (sack, TFL, QB hurry) sacked Andy Dalton for a key fourth-quarter stop.
LINEBACKERS - C
Newcomer James Anderson had two big pass breakups, including one that stopped the Bengals’ final drive. Lance Briggs had 7 tackles, a TFL and a pass breakup.
DEFENSIVE BACKS - C+
Bengals receiver A.J.Green (9-162, 2 TDs) had his way with Pro Bowl CBs Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings. But Tillman and Jennings ultimately had the upper hand with key takeways.
SPECIAL TEAMS - B-
Robbie Gould set a franchise record with a 58-yard FG that provided the margin of victory. Adam Podlesh had punts downed at the 3, 9 and 12. Devin Hester had one punt retrn for 3 yards.
COACHING - B
Gutsy call on fourth-and-1 that worked was the highlight of Marc Trestman’s debut. Bears were shaky early but kept Jay Cutler clean and played better in the second half. Around these parts, that’s improvement.