Bears

Cutler, Bears stun Chiefs with fourth-quarter comeback

jaycutlerbearschiefs101115.png

Cutler, Bears stun Chiefs with fourth-quarter comeback

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears made a bad day even worse for the Kansas City Chiefs.

Cutler led the Bears to a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns Sunday, the second an alert toss to Matt Forte with 18 seconds left, giving them an 18-17 comeback victory after Kansas City lost star running back Jamaal Charles to a potentially serious knee injury.

Chicago (2-3) trailed 17-3 early in the third quarter when Charles went down while trying to make a cut. He had to be helped off the field, never putting weight on his right knee.

The Bears quickly seized the momentum.

After Robbie Gould's second field goal got them going, Cutler led an 88-yard drive that he capped with a 22-yard strike to Marquess Wilson with 3:05 left. The 2-point conversion came up short, but the Bears defense responded by forcing a quick three-and-out.

With help from a pass interference call on Chiefs rookie Marcus Peters, the Bears quickly moved down the field. That's when Cutler took a snap from the shotgun, dropped the ball, picked it up and spotted Forte running past safety Husain Abdullah in the end zone for the go-ahead score.

The Chiefs (1-4) tried a 66-yard field goal that came up short as time expired.

It was the second heartbreaking defeat at home for Kansas City this season. AFC West rival Denver scored two touchdowns in the final 2:27 for a 31-24 victory last month.

Making this one even worse was the injury to Charles, who was starting to get into a rhythm went he went down deep in Chicago territory. He immediately grabbed his right knee - Charles tore the ACL in his left knee in 2012 - and was helped straight to the locker room.

There was no immediate word on the extent of the injury.

That drive stalled, and Cairo Santos had his field-goal attempt blocked. The missed points wound up looming large in a game that Kansas City will remember for its missed opportunities.

Until Charles went down, everything was going splendidly for the Chiefs, who had jumped out to a comfortable lead thanks to a pair of surprising touchdowns.

The first occurred on the third series of the game, when Cutler was sacked in the end zone by Jaye Howard and Allen Bailey. Cutler lost the ball before hitting the turf, and rookie linebacker Ramik Wilson jumped on it for a touchdown in his first NFL start.

The Chiefs' second TD came when Alex Smith connected with DeAnthony Thomas with a 14-yard pitch-and-catch midway through the second quarter. Why so surprising? It was just the second scoring reception by a Kansas City wide receiver since December 2013.

Meanwhile, the Bears struggled through injury problems of their own.

Wide receivers Alshon Jeffery and Eddie Royal were both out, along with three of the Bears' starting offensive linemen. The result was a tough afternoon for Cutler until the final few minutes, when he made the plays that mattered most.

Bears early Super Bowl odds

nagy-qb-coach.jpg
USA TODAY

Bears early Super Bowl odds

The oddsmakers in Las Vegas don’t think the Bears 2018 season was a fluke.

It took them a while to come around on Matt Nagy and Mitchell Trubisky during the regular season, but a 12-4 finish and the NFC North crown was enough to earn them national respect heading into 2019.

Chicago is expected to enter next season as a legitimate contender. The early odds for the 2020 Super Bowl at multiple sportsbooks have the Bears in the top five.

The offshore site Bet Online has them tied with the New England Patriots and New Orleans for the third-best odds, behind the Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Rams.

Super Book USA in Las Vegas is slightly less optimistic, giving Chicago 12-to-1 odds that are tied for fifth with the Los Angeles Chargers.

At this time last year, Super Book USA gave the Bears the lowest odds in the NFL for the 2019 Super Bowl at 100-to-1.

The team came a long way in Nagy’s first season, and expectations are already much higher for year two.

Matt Nagy named Head Coach of the Year by Pro Football Writers of America

Matt Nagy named Head Coach of the Year by Pro Football Writers of America

The awards have started pouring in for Matt Nagy. 

This afternoon, Pro Football Writers of America named Nagy their Head Coach of the Year:

It's a fitting award for Nagy, who led the Bears to a 12-4 record and their first NFC North division title since 2010. 

He wasn't the only coach on the 2018 Bears staff that won an award, though. Ex-defensive coordinator Vic Fangio was also named the Assistant Coach of the Year:

Fangio is of course now with the Denver Broncos, but it never hurts to leave town with a few extra awards in hand.