A trap was set. A trap was triggered. Sunday was considered a trap game for the Chicago Bears heading into their bye week. Instead of being trapped, it was the Bears who executed the trapping, in dominating the Jacksonville Jaguars, 41-3 to improve to 4-1.
Once against it was the defense that came to the rescue for the Bears after a slow start. Clinging to a slim 6-3 late in the third quarter, Charles Tillman intercepted a pass from Blaine Gabbert and returned it 36 yards for his eighth career return touchdown. Lance Briggs would later come up with his second consecutive pick-six to all but burry the Jaguars.
Tillman and Briggs’ return scores for a second straight week, marked for the first time in NFL history the same pair of teammates recorded a defensive score in back-to-back weeks.
The defense has now scored in three straight games, which has not happened by a Bears defense since 1950.
The offense followed suit and racked up 501 total yards from scrimmage. Matt Forte eclipsed the century mark (107) for the first time this season, while Brandon Marshall became the first Bears WR since Marcus Robinson in 1999 to record back-back 100-yard receiving games. Marshall was targeted a season-high 17 times, hauling in 12 for 144 yards and one TD.
Plenty of choices abound for game balls but here are my picks:
Entire Bears defense is the HERO of the game.
A week after allowing 440 yards to the Dallas Cowboys, the Bears held the Jags to just 189 total yards from scrimmage. It would be easy to name either Tillman or Briggs as the hero’s of the game, but the fact is the game was a complete effort by the defense.
Overlooked will be the sack-fumble caused by backup defensive lineman Corey Wooten. With the score tied in the second quarter and the Jags driving, Wooten hit Gabbert knocking the ball out which was recovered by Julius Peppers.
The Jags would not threaten to score the rest of the game. Wooten finished with two of the Bears three sacks in the game.
The defense has now held opponents out of the end zone in two of the last three games.
Maurice Jones-Drew is the ZERO of the game.
With an offense as anemic as the Jaguars you would expect something big out of its best player. Not in this game. MJD was bottled up early and often and was limited to just 56 yards rushing. The Jags main offensive threat recorded nearly half of those yards with a 27-yard scamper on third down in the fourth quarter -- when the game was well in hand for the Bears.
Jones-Drew has played against the Bears twice in his career now and had a combined 107 yards -- the same total of yards his friend, Matt Forte rushed for on Sunday. Through five games, the Bears defense is holding opponents to just 66 total rushing yards per game.
TRAVIS DAVID is a contributor for FOOTBALL NATION and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @Tdavid_21.