Sign up for a free Courant newsletter for a chance to win $100 P.C. Richard gift card

That was Jay Cutler's signature win

Jay Cutler took a beating, then took it out on the 49ers.

New 49ers stadium. New Bears result. Who knew?

And who knew it would be Jay Cutler engineering the new result?

Not me. Not anyone who saw the first 28 minutes of a game in which the Bears stunk from the start. Not anyone who knew Cutler’s wonky history against quality teams. 

And not with the Bears' two best offensive linemen injured, their two starting wide receivers banged-up, and Mel Tucker calling the run defense against a painful rushing team and Joe DeCamillis coaching special teams.

But there was Cutler, cutting up a Super Bowl contender. At one point, Cutler hit 13 of 14 passes. He would fire four TD passes on four straight series, three to Brandon Marshall.

Cutler would take advantage of a 49ers defense that was every bit as undisciplined as any Jim Schwartz Lions bunch. The 49ers extended Bears drives time and again, and Cutler didn't waste the chances in the second half the way he did in the first.

Cutler led the Bears back from a 17-0 deficit after painfully enduring the game's turning point. 49ers defensive tackle Quinton Dial launched on Cutler late in the first half, drilling the Bears quarterback in the sternum. Dial tried to separate Jay from Cutler. It looked like Jimmy Clausen time.

But no. Cutler got up. Who knows how Cutler got up, but he did. No, wait, he didn’t just get up, he took the Bears with him.

He had to because the 49ers were waiting for Matt Forte. The 49ers refused to let him run. The 49ers were daring Cutler and the hobbled receiving corps to beat them.

And they did.

And you know who gave the Bears that chance? Besides Jim Harbaugh’s idiotic pass-happy game plan and his team’s undisciplined play, I mean.

The Bears defense, that’s who gave them the chance.

This was a game in which the Bears lost Chris Conte after he came up with an interception, lost Charles Tillman perhaps forever, and lost defensive tackle Jeremiah Ratliff, who was stuffing the middle of a usually leaky line.

This also was a game in which Jared Allen forced a fumble, rookie cornerback Kyle Fuller picked off Colin Kaepernick twice, Willie Young sacked Kaepernick twice, and Shea McClellin not only got to Kaepernick once but set the edge against the run.

The defense was getting sliced up to start the third quarter, but in the face of a nine-minute drive, the Bears defense stuffed the run three times inside the 6 to force the 49ers to settle for a field goal. It didn’t seem like much at the time. It does now.

But the most impressive thing was Tucker's plan and his unit’s execution to pressure Kaepernick and force the right-handed thrower to run to his left. The Bears limited the danger Kaepernick presents and then took advantage of his frustration.

The Bears were bad and stupid early. They were gutsy and resourceful later on, none moreso than Cutler.

This was a game Cutler needed, even without the pain. Cutler needed a signature win. Cutler just had Brian Urlacher’s Arizona game.

Copyright © 2017, CT Now
28°