Bears

Wild finish as Cutler leads Bears to first win of the season

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Wild finish as Cutler leads Bears to first win of the season

Same old Jay? Not this time.

Bears quarterback Jay Cutler was having a near flawless day until disaster struck in the form of future Hall of Famer Charles Woodson. Stop if you've heard that before. But luckily for Cutler and the Bears, Cutler atoned for his error to lead Chicago to its first victory of the season.

Woodson, who once as a member of the Green Bay Packers stated that Cutler will always throw one to the opposing defense, picked off Cutler late in the fourth quarter with the Bears poised to take a two-score lead.

However, after a Raiders field goal with 2:05 remaining, Cutler marched the Bears 48 yards down the field to set up a game-winning Robbie Gould 49-yard field goal as Chicago beat Oakland, 22-20, at Soldier Field Sunday afternoon.

And the Bears offense ended the game just how how they started.

Operating like a well-oiled machine on its opening drive, despite losing starting center Will Montgomery to an ankle injury on the game's first play from scrimmage, the Bears easily moved the ball 80 yards down the field in six plays.

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, Bears fans!]

Cutler showed no rust from a strained hamstring and completed four of his five passes on the drive. Cutler helped the Bears grab their first opening-drive touchdown of the season when he found Eddie Royal for a seven-yard score. It was Royal's first touchdown as a member of the Bears and first from Cutler since the duo connected against the Jets in Nov. 2008 as members of the Denver Broncos. 

After showing signs of life in a Week 3 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, the Bears defense carried its momentum from the get-go, holding the Raiders to a measly 22 yards of offense in the first quarter. 

However, after a bad punt by Spencer Lannnig - filling in for the injured Pat O'Donnell - the Raiders took over at midfield and found a crack in the Bears' defense. Derek Carr continued to show signs of growth when he delivered a strike to rookie sensation Amari Cooper for a 26-yard score to put Oakland in front.

The Raiders defense immediately put the ball back in the hands of its offense when they pounced on a Cutler-Matt Slauson fumbled snap. Just three plays later, Carr swung a pass out to second-string running back Roy Helu Jr., who put Bears inside linebacker Christian Jones in spin cycle for a four-yard touchdown reception.

[MORE: Injuries in win over Raiders fell two more Bears starters]

But Cutler, just like he did before his injury against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 2, continued to show signs of improvement in Adam's Gase's offense.

Cutler engineered a seven-play, 80-yard scoring drive, culminating in a five-yard touchdown reception by tight end Martellus Bennett late in the second half. The Bears took the lead just before the half on a 19-yard Gould field goal after the defense gifted the Bears a prime scoring opportunity from a Pernell McPhee interception of Carr.

Before Gould's game-winning field, the Bears and Raiders traded field goals in each quarter of the second half.

The Bears travel to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs in Week 5 next Sunday.

ICYMI: The Bears lose in OT, the Bulls season nears, the Blackhawks make history

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USA TODAY

ICYMI: The Bears lose in OT, the Bulls season nears, the Blackhawks make history

The Bears suffered a heartbreaking defeat (that makes two of those), but the Bulls are days away from the start of a new season and the Blackhawks did something that has never happened before in sports history.

Bears

The Bears had a slow first half, failing to score against the shorthanded Dolphins, but picked things up in the third quarter. It all fell apart late in the fourth quarter and then again in overtime in a 31-28 defeat. Miami went up against the Bears without starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill, but Brock Osweiler threw for 380 yards and three touchdowns. What does that say about the Bears' defense?

Matt Nagy was a bit chippy with the media after the game, but there were still positive signs from the offense.

Plus, Dwyane Wade was there and repped the Bears on the road.

Bulls

The Bulls wrapped up the preseason Friday with a 98-93 loss to the Nuggets. Wendell Carter Jr. and Bobby Portis both showed well in the preseason finale and Jabari Parker flashed his potential as well.

With the preseason complete, Mark Strotman graded each player on the Bulls roster. You may not want to calculate the team GPA.

The roster is being finalized as well, with Ryan Arcidiacono making the team and local product Tyler Ulis getting picked up off waivers.

Blackhawks

Saturday was an eventful day for the Blackhawks. First, it marked the 1,000th career game for Duncan Keith. Keith talked about the emotional night after the game.

As for the game itself, the Blackhawks beat the Blues 4-3 in overtime. That was the second time the Hawks beat the Blues in OT this season, adding to a 5-4 OT win in St. Louis on Oct. 6.

Unbelievably, that was the fifth straight OT game for the Blackhawks. Every game has gone to overtime this season, and not one of those has even gone to a shootout. No NHL team has done that since the league introduced a regular-season overtime period in 1983-84, per the Elias Sports Bureau. Overtimes are more rare in other sports, but that also holds true for the NBA, NFL and MLB.

The Hawks don't play against until Thursday, when the host Arizona.

Bears notes: Was Trey Burton’s penalty justified?

Bears notes: Was Trey Burton’s penalty justified?

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — In a game full of pivotal moments, one seemed to irk the Bears in particular following Sunday’s 31-28 overtime loss to the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium.

Driving on the Dolphins three-yard line, the Bears lined up in a T formation with Jordan Howard, Trey Burton and Tarik Cohen lined up left to right in the backfield behind Mitch Trubisky, who was under center. Burton motioned out of the backfield and to the right, and ran his route into linebacker Kiko Alonso.

Trubisky threw a short pass to a wide open Cohen for a touchdown, with Alonso late getting to the running back after being hit by Burton. But that score was taken off the board for offensive pass interference, with officials ruling what Burton did amounted to an illegal pick play.

“Trey did everything I asked him to do,” Matt Nagy said, sharply.

On the next play, Trubisky forced a pass into double coverage in the end zone, which was easily picked off by Dolphins safety T.J. McDonald. Miami turned that interception into eight points on Albert Wilson’s 43-yard touchdown and an ensuing two-point conversion.

The way Burton understood the rule was that offensive pass interference was only assessed on a pick play if he intentionally ran into a defender without running a true route. That’s what Burton felt he did; the officiating crew disagreed.

“I thought I ran a route and the guy ran into me,” Burton said. “I thought they changed the rule this year or last year — if you run the route, it doesn’t matter if you pick the guy or not, you’re good. Obviously they called it.”

A Rough Return

The conversations surrounding the Bears Sunday into Monday would be awfully different had a number of things happened — Trubisky doesn’t throw that interception, the Bears’ defense gets a stop, Tarik Cohen doesn’t fumble near midfield, etc. In that same group: If Cody Parkey hits what would’ve been a game-winning 53-yard field goal in overtime.

Parkey, instead, missed that kick wide right. His career long is 54 yards, which he hit last year while with the Miami Dolphins (and that was a game-winner with about a minute left against the Los Angeles Chargers).

“I had the distance, I just didn’t kick it straight enough, bottom line,” Parkey said. “But you’ve got to move on. I’ve made game winners, I’ve missed game winners. As long as I keep playing, I’m just going to keep trying to kick my best.

“… I control what I can control, and unfortunately I missed a field goal. I’d like to have that one back, but it is what it is and I’m just going to focus on the next game. That’s all I can do.”