Thankfully my prediction of a boring game between the Chicago Bears and the Denver Broncos did not come true. In fact, the Bears OT win over the Broncos was probably the most exciting game this season.
The Bears were pretty much at the end of the line play-off wise if they lost Sunday, so Coach Lovie Smith told them to treat it like a playoff game. Although it did not feel that way in the first half, the Bears really came alive late in the game.
The Bears were down fourteen points late in the game, but managed to come from behind and score two times in under eight minutes, sending the game to overtime. The final touchdown pass of regulation was a beautiful catch by Bernard Berrian in the corner of the endzone. The play was reviewed by the booth and it was indeed a catch.
The Bears won the coin toss and moved the ball quickly down the field. Robbie Gould kicked a field goal, leading the Bears to a 37-34 victory.
Devin Hester returned two kicks for touchdowns, one on a punt and one on a kick-off return. With the first return, he took over the Bears records for kicks returned for touchdowns in a season with 10. The Broncos are certainly regretting their decision to kick to Hester, because he really made them pay.His speed and ability to move down the field, avoiding tackles is a thing of beauty.
One downside for the Bears was the loss of running back Cedric Benson to an injury. He left the game on a cart after injuring his ankle and did not return.
Benson was replaced by Adrian Peterson and Peterson made it clear that he was there to play. On two different rushes he used his strength to push through a whole pack of defenders, making it look more like a rugby scrum than a football running play. His fortitude is something that has been lacking in the position all season.
Rex Grossman had a lackluster first half, but came on strong in the second half, to end up with 193 yards on 17-33 passing. He also had an interception and two fumbles. His quarterback rating in the second half was a stellar 91.9.
This victory gives the Bears new life and hopefully they will carry this success onto their next game and throughout the rest of the season in hopes of getting a playoff birth.
Photo source: Chicago Tribune