The Chicago Bears rebounded nicely from a very disappointing Thursday night loss against their rival Green Bay Packers on Sunday by taking apart an undermanned St. Louis Rams squad, 23-6.
Jay Cutler and the offense still looked out of sync throughout the game, but established some consistency in the second half as Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall came up with some clutch catches to lead the offensive assault.
Although the offense only came up with only one touchdown, the running game was effective enough to give the defense ample rest and dominate the sub-par Ram offense.
The Bears' defense shutdown a team that had put up 30 plus points in consecutive games thanks in large part to the pressure of the front four defensive lineman, harassing quarterback Sam Bradford all day.
The line put Bradford on his back six times and put the game away with a 41-yard interception return by strong safety Major Wright early in the fourth quarter. The Rams were forced to throw and were kept back on their heels for the rest of the game.
In their second home game of the year, the offensive line was pushed back by the Rams' pass rushers and Cutler was uncomfortable in the pocket most of the day, rushing his passes and throwing wide to his receivers. Cutler was able to find Marshall for a 40-yard pass over the outstretched arms of Cortland Finnegan but that was the only long completion for him on the day.
It is imperative the line has better focus and gets to their blocks faster on Monday, as the Cowboys come in defeating the world champion Giants and holding the Buccaneers to only seven points. The Cowboys brought in two new cornerbacks that have made a big difference so far, to improve a secondary that struggled last year.
The Bears won in Dallas last year, but this year's team has a better defense to contend with and a loud crowd to deal with.
If the Bears get off to another rough start like they did against the Colts and the Packers, it will be tough to recover. Not helping matters is that the Bears will be without leading rusher Matt Forte as he is nursing an ankle sprain, but this team should have plenty of motivation to maintain their first place standing.
A winnable game at Jacksonville looms on the horizon and then a bye week could have the Bears sitting pretty at the first quarter of the season.