Bears

Bears Grades: Cutler leads another comeback, even in loss

jay-cutler-1018.png

Bears Grades: Cutler leads another comeback, even in loss

After two weeks of comeback wins the underlying assumption around Ford Field was that if the defense could get a stop or two, Jay Cutler and the offense would win this game, too.

“(The Lions) go up by three with 40 seconds left, then you see our offense driving down there in a couple of passes,” said defensive lineman Jarvis Jenkins. “That’s the guts you’ve got to have. The offense really had the guts today. They carried the load of the team today.”

Cutler completed 26 of 41 passes for 353 yards and a touchdown to Alshon Jeffery. It marked the fifth-highest passing yardage for him as a Bear. But it came with an interception that cost the Bears points in a game that turned on single isolated plays. The Bears are now 0-3 in 2015 when Cutler throws an interception.

The third-quarter interception by cornerback Rashean Mathis was devastating, coming on a second-and-goal situation from the Detroit six-yard line, with the Bears in position to seize momentum in the second half. With the kind of poor fundamentals that have too often undone him, Cutler threw off his back foot toward Jeffery in the left corner of the end zone, left the ball underthrown where the defensive back had a better shot at the ball than Jeffery, and the Bears squandered a scoring opportunity in a game where the defense needed help against a resurgent Detroit offense.

“Al said he lost some in the light,” Cutler said. “I’ve still got to put it out there a little bit farther for him and let him make a play.”

[SHOP BEARS: Get your Bears gear right here]

Jeffery, however, blamed himself on a ball that appeared to surprise him and which he appeared to fight for too late. “That was my fault,” Jeffery said. “It had nothing to do with his throw. I just couldn’t see it in the lights.”

But as he did against Oakland and Kansas City, Cutler was able to guide the offense into position for critical scores, part of a fourth quarter that saw the Bears score 18 points to overcome a 24-16 deficit to start the quarter.

If there was a failing it lay in the Bears’ inability to score touchdowns on all but three of eight trips inside the Detroit 20-yard line.

“It’s tough, it’s tough,” Cutler said. “We battled. I can only speak for the offense and myself, we’ve got to do better in the red zone, we’ve got to do better down there.”

Some of Cutler’s improv work was impressive. He evaded pressure to complete a third-quarter pass to Marquess Wilson of 46 yards. And credit Cutler with one of the most athletic plays of his Chicago career, evading two near-sacks and scrambling free to launch a 22-yard playground heave toward Jeffery, in single coverage deep.

Moon's Grade: A-

Cody Parkey named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week

Cody Parkey named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week

Cody Parkey's had himself a month. 

After Parkey's 3-3 performance on Sunday Night Football, the kicker's been named NFC Special Teams Player of The Week:

The award comes only a few weeks after Parkey's infamous quad-doink performance in the Bears' win over Detroit. In the aftermath, Parkey's decision to kick at Soldier Field during the week -- something he hadn't previously been doing -- drew a comically ridiculous amount of attention from local media:

It's a nice turnaround for Parkey, who has struggled at times throughout the season: 

Cameras caught Bears coaches and players going crazy during Parkey's award-winning performance against the Vikings:

Bears are only slight favorites over Lions on Thanksgiving

bears-celebration-1120.jpg
USA TODAY

Bears are only slight favorites over Lions on Thanksgiving

The short week has Las Vegas oddsmakers less optimistic about the Bears as they head to Detroit to take on the Lions.

Even after an impressive win over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday night, Chicago still opened as only three-point favorites for their Thanksgiving matchup, according to Vegas Insider.

This comes only two weeks after the Bears were favored by nearly a touchdown over the Lions back on Nov. 11.

Playing on the road instead of at Soldier Field may be a factor in the betting line, but the tighter spread is still surprising considering Chicago’s last few results.

Perhaps even more surprising is that the number hasn’t moved even with the unknowns surrounding Mitchell Trubisky’s shoulder injury.

Either Las Vegas doesn’t think he’s going to miss the game, or they don’t think there will be much of a dropoff with backup Chase Daniel in his place.

The over/under of 44 points is also a little bit on the low side compared to other lines in Week 12, especially since these two teams combined for 56 points just two weeks ago.

The short week of preparation will have both teams scrambling, likely with neither at their best, so maybe the matchup does have potential to be a little more close with a little less scoring.

 

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of the Bears and stream the ‘Football Aftershow’ easily on your device.