After looking lethargic in a 23-6 win over the St. Louis Rams in Week 3, the Chicago Bears had six days to hear criticism on whether or not they can notch a win over a quality team.
Monday night the Bears answered the question by waltzing into Cowboys Stadium and throttling the Dallas Cowboys 34-18, to improve to 3-1 on the season.
The offense needed a half to get going, but the defense scored a touchdown in second and third quarters to give the Bears some separation.
The offense is looking like they are settling into a nice groove, while the defense continues to lead the way.
So without further ado here are my Week 4 grades for the Bears:
Jay Cutler has experienced better games, statistically speaking, in a Bears uniform, but Monday night may have served as his signature win in the Windy City.
The Bears signal caller completed 18 of 24 passes for 275 yards with a pair of scores.
The only knock in the game came in the third quarter when Cutler held onto the ball a little too long and was stripped from behind by DeMarcus Ware.
Cutler was most impressive on third down. He completed 7-of-8 third-down completions for 137 yards and one touchdown. Six of the seven completions resulted in first downs.
Running backs: B-
Matt Forte came back from an ankle injury and finished with 53 yards on 13 carries. Michael Bush was limited to just 29 yards on 10 carries as the team finished with 93 yards on the ground on 28 attempts.
To credit the coaching staff, they have stuck with the game plan of getting the running game involved, now its time to see more production.
Yes, Forte has been hurt, but averaging 3.3 yards per attempts as a team needs to improve.
Brandon Marshall had another stellar game, but everyone else played their part and pitched in as well. Devin Hester made his first real impact of the season by executing a perfect double-move on his way to a 34-yard score. Kellen Davis double his tight end production with three receptions for 62 yards, while Alshon Jeffery also hauled in three passes for 32 yards.
Offensive line: A
For the second straight game the guys in the trenches kept Cutler’s uniform relatively clean. Cutler was sacked twice on the night -- once where he held onto the ball too long -- and J’Marcus Webb held his own for the most part against Cowboys all-pro defensive end DeMarcus Ware.
The line gave Cutler time to make precision throws throughout the night and it showed in the end result.
Fourteen points and five turnovers and only a B+? Well the Cowboys still managed to rack up 430 yards of offense in the game.
Three of the five turnovers were more about what the Cowboys players didn’t do than what the Bears' defense did to come up with the picks.
A team shouldn’t be penalized for taking advantage of what was given to them, but the defense can not be pleased by allowing that many yards on offense, especially with five turnovers.
The front four continues to impress as does the secondary. But the glaring problem from Monday night’s game was the Cowboys success of dinking and dumping off against an aggressive front seven.
I am sure other teams around the league are taking notes and may use the same blueprint.
Henry Melton and Tim Jennings continue to play at pro bowl levels at their respective position and Major Wright with his two picks is starting to come into his own at safety.
Special teams: B
Once again nothing special here. Robbie Gould was Robbie Gould. Devin Hester was once again held in check.
Mike Tice is starting to find a winning formula in the offensive play calling with yet another balance play calling game.
Rod Marinelli continues to do wonders with an “aging” defense and doesn’t get near enough credit as he deserves.
It seems like the entire coaching staff is on the same page for a change. Let’s hope it doesn’t change.
TRAVIS DAVID is a contributor for FOOTBALL NATION and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @Tdavid_21.