After a stumble on his first snap, Jay Cutler showed no ill-effects from the concussion or the layoff, making all the throws he needed to make. He was 23-for-31 for 188 yards with one TD, one INT and an 86.5 rating.
RUNNING BACKS: C
Matt Forte (14-42) put the Bears in an early hole with a fumble on his first carry and didn’t have a run longer than six yards. Michael Bush (21-60) scored two TDs.
Brandon Marshall (11-79) averaged only 7.2 yards per catch, but he made several tough catches in tight spots. Matt Spaeth’s touchdown was a thing of beauty.
OFFENSIVE LINE: B+
In a constant state of flux with two new starters and injuries to Chris Spencer and Lance Louis, the line was improved. Gabe Carimi was effective as an extra tackle and backup right guard.
A- Henry Melton set the tone with a sack on the Vikings’ first snap, and the Bears clearly won the battle in the trenches. Nate Collins had a pressure that led to Chris Conte’s INT.
Brian Urlacher (4 tackles) had a quiet day pending the coaches’ film review But Nick Roach had 7 tackles and a key forced fumble and Lance Briggs had 7 tackles and 2 pass breakups.
DEFENSIVE BACKS: A
Solid effort all-around as the Bears held the Vikings to 159 passing yards, with the longest play to a WR just 13 yards. Chris Conte had an INT and 35-yard return to set up a key TD.
SPECIAL TEAMS: B
The Vikes never threatened after Adam Podlesh’s perfectly executed two-point conversion off a fake PAT that gave the Bears an 18-3 lead. Podlesh also averaged 43.3 net yards.
The Bears have shown they can only go so far under coach Lovie Smith, and the limitation looks to be mutual. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times