Bears explosive offense rolls Cowboys

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Matt Forte
The Chicago Bears scored on every possession, rolling out nearly 500 yards of offense and tying a team-record with 33 first downs en route to a convincing 45-28 victory over the Dallas Cowboys at frigid Solider Field Monday evening. The offensive output put the icing on the cake on a night where the Bears honored former Hall of Fame player and Super Bowl winning coach Mike Ditka at halftime by retiring his jersey.

The win keeps the Bears (7-6) in the NFC playoff picture and ties them with the Detroit Lions for first place in the NFC North. The Lions still hold the advantage though by virture of sweeping the season’s series between the two teams.

Chicago must take to the road the next two weeks to face Cleveland and Philadelphia, before closing the regular season schedule at home against Green Bay on December 29.

On a night when the winds howled and the temperatures fell to single digits, the contest with the Cowboys started as a shootout with the game tied at 14 as the teams traded touchdowns. The Bears jumped in front for good on a Robbie Gould 27-yard field goal to take a 17-14 lead.

They extended it to 24-14 just before half when they took advantage of a Dallas failed fourth down attempt and took over near mid-field.  Alshon Jeffery’s spectacular leaping catch in the corner of the endzone on a 25-yard throw from Josh McCown that appeared to be overthrown.

Taking the second half kickoff, the Bears drove downfield quickly behind QB Josh McCown. McCown threw four touchdown passes, completing 27-of-36 for 348-yards, finding the huge Bears receiving weapons in Jeffery, Brandon Marshall, and Martellus Bennett. McCown wasn’t perfect, nearly avoiding a three potential interceptions as the ball slipped through Cowboys defenders hands on the brutally cold evening. Overall, though, McCown played with poise and avoided the costly mistakes, engineering the Bears to five touchdowns and three field goals.

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The Bears continued to pile up the points in the second half. Two short Gould field goals from 23 & 27 -yards, plus a pair of touchdown passes to Matt Forte and Michael Bush capped the Bears scoring. Forte was solid as usual, running for 102-yards on 20 carries, while also catching seven passes for 73-yards. His workmanlike performances aren’t flashy, but Forte’s cemented his place as one of the game’s most skilled and versatile playmakers.

If there was a negative, it had to be another porous performance by the Bears defense. Chicago allowed DeMarco Murray to shred the attack unit and gain 146-yards on 18 carries, an 8.1 yards per carry average. Bears defenders over pursued, failed to take proper angles, and again missed a slew of tackles. Cowboys QB Tony Romo was limited to a pedestrian 11-of-

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20 for 104-yards as Dallas used a similar approach to recent Bears opponents and kept it on the ground.

Now the key is for the Bears to show they can win on the road, something they’ve struggled with this season.

Paw Prints: The Bears offensive line kept McCown clean and dominated the Dallas defensive line throughout. The Cowboys Demarcus Ware was a non-factor, thanks to the work of Bears left OT Jermond Bushrod. …LB James Anderson was credited with a sack on a first half blitz….Dallas LB Sean Lee, just back on the field after a hamstring injury, left in the second half with an apparent neck injury.

 

 

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