This short-handed Bears offense found a way to move the ball, if not finish, in trailing 11-9 in Indianapolis at halftime.
And it may have become more short-handed at an already-thin wide receiver corps when Marquess Wilson tweaked a hamstring on the second series, came back to make an impressive 10-yard gain on a catch-and-stiff-arm in the third series, then went back to the sidelines for good.
As for Charles Leno Jr.'s audition at right tackle, he didn't provide anything better than what Jordan Mills has provided, with a hands-to-the-face penalty on a third-and-8 on the opening series. But after that three-and-out came a trio of field goal drives with 14 runs and eight passes, with Robbie Gould connecting from 50, 37 and 25 yards.
As a matter of fact, every phase of special teams has been solid, with 29- and 22-yard punt returns by Marc Mariani and a 31-yard kick return by Senorise Perry providing solid field position. Matt Forte got his first game action of the preseason, with eight carries for 24 yards, but his 12-yard reception was the biggest play on the first field goal drive. Forte's 11-yard run on the second field goal drive also included Cutler going 4-for-4, twice to Martellus Bennett.
But concerns continued at tackle as the field got shorter, with pressure coming from the outside, not to mention a Kyle Long hold that wiped out a gutsy, helmet-removing 12-yard run by Cutler that would've set up fourth-and-goal from the 1.
But that line was winning most of the way on a nine-play, 51-yard drive, with Jacquizz Rodgers carrying six times for 28 yards.
There were steps made on defense, too, versus Andrew Luck, permitting just one first down the first two series'. Pernell McPhee had a sack and third-down pressure on the opening series. Jarvis Jenkins and Jared Allen (in a three-point stance) hurried Luck on the second series.
Luck found his rhythm and the Colts' line adjusted on the third possession, marching from their own 13 to a touchdown and two-point conversion - Kyle Fuller responsible for 45 of those yards on a 30-yard reception by T.Y. Hilton, followed by an unsportsmanlike conduct call.
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Once Luck exited, Matt Hasselbeck was victimized on an incredibly athletic downfield interception in man coverage by Terrance Mitchell. But Jimmy Clausen and Dante Rosario got mixed up on an ensuing interception by Indy, which turned into the go-ahead field goal at the gun, though not before a combo sack by Will Sutton and Willie Young.
Adrian Amos provided good support a couple of times and did not get exposed in moving into the starting lineup. Cutler wound up 8 of 9 passing for 69 yards.