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The new-look Chicago Bears kicked off the 2013 season against the up and coming Cincinnati Bengals Sunday September 8th.
As expected the Soldier Field faithful flocked to the recently renovated spaceship by the lake to excitedly usher in the Mark Trestman era.
The rookie NFL head coach and his revamped defense seemingly had their hands full attempting to contain All-Pro wide out AJ Green, who hauled in nine Andy Dalton passes for an astonishing 162 yards and two touchdowns.
However, despite Green's impressive performance Chicago's Pro Bowl cornerbacks Charles "Peanut" Tillman and Tim Jennings combined for three game-saving turnovers which ultimately helped the Bears salvage a thrilling 24-21 opening day win.
For the first time in 13 years the refurbished Monsters of the Midway's defense went to war without their recently retired general, middle linebacker Brian Urlacher. Devoid of No. 54 calling the defensive signals this season the Bears promoted fellow Pro Bowl linebacker Lance Briggs to captain and signed former Denver Broncos middle man, DJ Williams, to help try fill the void left by Urlacher's departure.
Second-year GM Phil Emery also spent the offseason retooling Chicago's shaky offense. What was Emery's top priority for the 2013 campaign? Keeping franchise quarterback Jay Cutler upright.
Suffering a staggering 148 sacks during his 56 regular season starts under center for the Bears Cutler has been one of the NFL's most battered and bruised quarterbacks. In an effort to protect his potentially prolific passer Emery added former New Orleans Saints Pro Bowl left tackle Jermon Bushrod, New York Jets guard Matt Slauson and drafted impressive rookie linemen Kyle Long and Jordan Mills.
Although one game is a rather small sample size, the new Chicago offensive line impressively did not allow a single Cutler sack during their opening day W. On his feet all afternoon No. 6 wasted no time hooking up with his new tight end, Martellus Bennett, for Chicago's first passing touchdown of the young season.
Hauling in eight passes for 104 yards and touchdown of his own top target and Pro Bowl receiver Brandon Marshall did not disappoint in his 2013 debut. Ultimately Cutler finished the day 21-33 for 242 yards with two TD tosses and one interception.
The new-look Bears welcome the NFL's best running back, Adrian Peterson, and his 0-1 Minnesota Vikings to Soldier Field this Sunday September 15th.
If Chicago's overhauled defense can contain the bruising beast out of the backfield they should have no problem moving to 2-0 and staying atop the NFC North.