Bears Move to 3-0
September 22, 2013 – The Chicago Bears showed they were more than ready for prime time Sunday night, beating the Pittsburgh Steelers 40-23 to remain unbeaten at 3-0. The Bears forced five turnovers and blew the game open with two fourth-quarter touchdowns after the Steelers had cut their lead to four. The disappointing Steelers (0-3) remained winless.
The Bears return to NFC North competition next Sunday at Detroit.
Jay Cutler completed 20 of 30 passes for 159 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions and a passer rating of 90.8. Matt Forte rushed for 87 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries and added 24 yards on four receptions. Brandon Marshall had five catches for 52 yards and Alshon Jeffery had seven for 51.
Defensive end Julius Peppers capped the scoring when he rumbled 42 yards with a fumble that was caused when Lance Briggs stripped Ben Roethlisber to boost the lead to 17.
That came shortly after Earl Bennett’s 17-yard catch in the corner of the end zone — originally ruled to be out of bounds — was ruled a touchdown on review, boosting the Bears’ lead to 34-23 with 5:55 left to play. That drive was extended when Cutler put his shoulder down and dove for a first down while taking a hard ht.
The Bears saw a once-healthy lead trimmed to 27-23 when Steelers kicker Shaun Suisham converted from 44 yards out with 10:43 left in regulation.
The Steelers had pulled within 27-20 when Roethlisberger threw 21 yards to Antonio Brown, who made a nice one-handed grab in the end zone late in the third quarter.
The Bears led 27-13 with 5:38 left in the third quarter after a 36-yard field goal by Suisham.
The Bears had extended their lead to 27-10 early in the third quarter on Robbie Gould’s 32-yard field goal. The score was set up when the Steelers turned the ball over on their first possession of the second half. Felix Jones fumbled after Major Wright forced it with a hard tackle. Henry Melton made the recovery.
The Bears led 24-10 with 6:35 to go before halftime after a roughing-the-punter penalty on Anthony Walters gave the ball back to the Steelers, and Roethlisberger hit Brown on a 33-yard TD pass. That was the score at intermission.
Wright’s 38-yard interception return put the Bears up 24-3 with 8:57 to play in the second quarter.
A 27-yard field goal by Suisham finally had put the Steelers on the board, cutting the Bears’ lead to 17-3 with 13:36 left in the second quarter. A 45-yard pass from Roethlisberger to Brown set up the score.
The Bears scored on their first three drives of the game. On the third, Forte broke loose on a 55-yard run to set the Bears up at the Steelers 5. Michael Bush scored on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line to put the Bears up 17-0 with 2:01 to play in the first quarter.
The second drive was set up when linebacker D.J. Williams stripped the ball from Roethlisberger. The fumble was recovered by linebacker James Anderson at the Steelers’ 17, and Forte scored on a 5-yard TD run with 5:05 left in the first period to make it 10-0.
On their first possession, Gould connected on a 47-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead. The scoring drive covered 51 yards in 13 plays.
For the half, Cutler was 12-of-18 for 75 yards and a passer rating of 75. Forte had 76 yards on nine carries and 24 yards on three receptions.
Roethlisberger completed 9 of 16 first-half passes for 142 yards and one TD. His passer rating was 80.7. The Bears sacked him twice. Brown had four catches for 105 yards and a TD.
ptember 22,2013 –