Bears

Don't pretend you 'don't care': On Mike Glennon's bad day, Jay Cutler wins debut with Dolphins

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Don't pretend you 'don't care': On Mike Glennon's bad day, Jay Cutler wins debut with Dolphins

If your response to Jay Cutler winning his first game with the Miami Dolphins was "don't care," you're probably lying.

On a day when Cutler's successor, Mike Glennon, turned the ball over three times in an ugly Bears loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the former Bears starting quarterback moved to 1-0 as the Dolphins' new man under center.

Cutler was pretty good in the 19-17 win over the Los Angeles Chargers, completing 24 of his 33 passes and throwing for 230 yards and a touchdown. The Dolphins reached the end zone just once, getting four made field goals from kicker Cody Parkey.

The game's biggest play came at game's end, with Chargers kicker Younghoe Koo missing a 44-yard field-goal try to seal the deal for the Dolphins.

But most importantly, Cutler didn't the turn the ball over at all in this one, a particularly noteworthy stat considering Glennon threw a pair of interceptions and fumbled a ball away in the Bears' loss.

While Bears fans are clamoring for the team to replace Glennon with Mitchell Trubisky, the No. 2 pick in this year's draft, John Fox indicated that Glennon won't be getting replaced as a result of his bad performance Sunday. It'll be important, then, as long as Glennon keeps his starting job, to compare him to the alternative: not Trubisky, but Cutler.

Most fans and observers were in agreement that the Cutler Era needed to end, that something different was required after a largely unsuccessful stretch with Cutler as the Bears' quarterback. And that's fine. But Cutler would have provided a desired veteran presence, the thing Glennon is supposed to provide as Trubisky matures into a starting NFL quarterback. Glennon hasn't been the solution to anything through two weeks. Meanwhile, Cutler is interception-free and 1-0 through one game with the Dolphins.

That's not saying that Cutler — nor Glennon, for that matter — will continue to perform the way he did in his first game for the remainder of the 2017 season. But it will be worth keeping an eye on Cutler in Miami and comparing what he does down there with what Glennon's doing up here. Because Cutler very well could have been the Bears' quarterback this season.

Return of the Monsters of the Midway: Bears defense has huge day in win over Panthers

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Return of the Monsters of the Midway: Bears defense has huge day in win over Panthers

Are the Monsters of the Midway back?

You wouldn’t be wrong for feeling that way after watching yet another strong performance from the Bears’ defense in Sunday’s 17-3 win over the Carolina Panthers at Soldier Field.

Highlighted by Eddie Jackson’s pair of 75-yard turnover-return touchdowns, the Bears’ defense had a second straight highlight-reel display on Sunday. In addition to Jackson’s takeaways, the defense also added a fourth-quarter interception for a third takeaway, sacked Cam Newton five times and kept the Panthers completely out of the end zone.

For those keeping score at home: That’s two full games without allowing an offensive touchdown.

And they did it all while constantly being on the field. Thanks to Jackson’s touchdowns, the Bears’ offense got to stay on the sideline more than usual, the Bears’ offense possessing the ball for fewer than 7 minutes in the first half and only 21 minutes and 25 seconds on the game overall. And when the offense did take the field, the results were poor, meaning a quick turnaround for the defense.

The overworked defense didn’t always keep the Panthers from marching down the field, but the Panthers never found the end zone, Newton’s inaccuracies assisting the terrific play of the Bears’ defense, which technically forced four turnovers, if you count a third-quarter turnover on downs.

And that’s all before mentioning that the defense supplied almost the entirety of the Bears’ scoring output for the day on Jackson’s first-quarter fumble-return touchdown and his second-quarter interception-return touchdown. Both went 75 yards as Jackson, playing a year to the day from the end of his collegiate career with a broken leg at Alabama, became the first defensive player ever to have two 75-yard-plus return touchdowns in an NFL game.

If you’re having flashbacks to the last decade, when Lovie Smith’s defenses had a habit of being bigger scoring threats than the offense, you’re not alone. Twitter lit up with Mike Brown comparisons for Jackson.

Great day for the rookie, great day for the defense.

No offense to be found

Meanwhile, the Bears’ offense did next to nothing on a day when the defense was excellent.

Mitch Trubisky was mostly silent in his third career game, the obvious exception being his 70-yard heave to Tarik Cohen. Trubisky’s deep ball landed in his fellow rookie’s hands, and Cohen did the rest scampering all the way down to the 5-yard line.

Of course, the Bears’ offense failed there, unable to cover five yards in three plays for a touchdown. Trubisky attempted to rush in on third down, racing to the pylon and diving for the score. It was initially ruled a touchdown, but a replay review determined he was down short of the goal line. The Bears settled for a field goal on that drive, and it was the only scoring drive the offense engineered all day.

In the end, the numbers were disgusting. The Bears accumulated just 153 yards, picked up just five first downs, went 2-for-11 on third downs and scored just three points. Trubisky barely even threw the ball, completing just four of his seven passes for 107 yards.

Good thing the defense was so good — and scored 14 points — because the offense was practically non-existent.

Eddie Jackson, you are ridiculous! Wild facts about rookie safety's NFL-first touchdown combo

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Eddie Jackson, you are ridiculous! Wild facts about rookie safety's NFL-first touchdown combo

When you do something that’s never been done before in an NFL game, you’ve done something pretty special.

Eddie Jackson had himself a jaw-dropping day Sunday, returning not one but two Carolina Panthers turnovers 75 yards for touchdowns in the first half of the Bears’ Week 7 contest, the first time ever a defensive player had multiple return touchdowns of 75 yards or more.

The Panthers had little trouble moving the ball downfield on their first possession of the game, but quarterback Cam Newton’s option pitch was fumbled, allowing Jackson to pick it up and dash down the sideline 75 yards for a score.

Then in the second quarter, the Panthers got inside the Bears’35-yard line, only for a Newton pass to be batted up in the air by Prince Amukamara and land in Jackson’s hands. The rookie safety again ran back 75 yards for a Bears touchdown.

And how about this: Jackson's huge performance came a year to the day that his collegiate career ended with a broken leg at Alabama.

Some more wild facts from Jackson’s remarkable first half:

Incredible. And that was just in the first half.