Well, as they say, a win is a win, and 1-0 is a heck of a lot better than 0-1. Despite that, barely beating a Lions team that went 2-26 over the past two seasons on a technicality leaves a bad taste in my mouth. What technicality am I referring to? The non-TD catch by Calvin Johnson with 0:31 to go in the game.

It was one of the weirdest rulings I've seen in my life. With the Lions in two-minute mode and behind by five points, they managed to march down to the Bears' 25 yard line. After spiking the ball to stop the clock, Lions' QB, Shaun Hill, tosses an apparent go ahead TD pass to WR Calvin Johnson, who made a leaping catch over Bears' DB Zach Bowman. After catching the ball, Johnson got both feet down in the end zone, and in the process of going down to the ground had the ball come out of his hands. The ruling is that the receiver must maintain possession of the ball throughout the entire process of making the catch. Seemed like a ticky-tack ruling to me, but the rule is the rule. Two plays later, the Bears break up a 4th and 10 attempt in the end zone to seal the victory.

Here's my breakdown of the game:


The new Bears' offense under new OC Mike Martz managed to rack up 463 yards of total offense. They held onto the ball for 34:42 minutes. They were a respectable 6 of 14 on 3rd down conversions. Cutler was 23-35 for 372 yards, 2 TD's and 1 INT. Matt Forte caught 7 passes for 151 yards and 2 TD's, including an 89 yard reception late in the first half. More importantly, Forte looks to be fully recovered from the nagging injuries that hampered him most of last season.

The defense played outstanding. New acquisition, Julius Peppers, was the disruptive force we all hoped for. He registered a sack and a forced fumble late in the first half that Tommie Harris recovered. The turnover set the Bears up for a FG to end the half, which narrowed the lead to 14-13 heading into the half. The linebacking corps was all over the place. Lance Briggs tallied 10 tackles. He also had a forced fumble and a fumble recovery on a beautiful played in which he stunted on the line and got to Shaun Hill just as he was handing the ball off at the goaline. Urlacher had 8 tackles, a sack and 3 tackles for loss. Overall the defense held the Lions to a paltry 20 yards on 21 carries. The pass defense also looked impressive limiting the Detroit WR's to 6 catches all day.


Cutler threw a bad interception (they're all bad, right) on a 3rd and 20 in the first quarter. The pass was thrown in triple coverage and eventually picked off after being tipped twice. Overall the Bears had four turnovers — 1 INT and 3 fumbles (Cutler, Forte and Olsen). The Lions' two TD's were off of Bears' turnovers.

The Bears' running game was a pedestrian 31 carries for 101 yards and no TD's. There were a couple of instances in which Cutler and the receiving corps weren't on the same page. WR Devin Aromashodu dropped a perfect pass on the Bears' first drive that would have been a TD had he held on to it; the Bears ended up settling for a FG.


The offensive line…'nuff said! The Bears' OL was pretty ineffective all day. The couldn't open up many running lanes for Forte or Taylor, and they couldn't keep the Lions' front four away from Cutler. Minus the QB scrambles, the Bears ran the ball 26 times for 79 yards for a measly 3.0 yards per carry. As mentioned earlier, they scored no rushing TD's; and that's including being completely stuffed on a 1st and goal from the one foot line in which the Bears ran the ball three times. Cutler was sacked four times and hit an additional 7 times. The Bears were also a dismal 0 for 4 in the red zone, including going 0 for 2 in goal to go situations.


As I said earlier, a win is a win, but the Bears' OL is going to have to figure a way to give Cutler more time to throw and they're going to have to do a much better job blocking up front for the running game. Next week, they play Dallas on the road, and something tells me Dallas isn't going to self-destruct like the Lions usually do.