CHICAGO -- A few thoughts from Soldier Field:
Jay Cutler looks energized and Brett Favre looks cold, old and ineffective. That’s my instant analysis of the two quarterbacks in this game. The Bears are giving Cutler excellent pass protection -- have you even noticed Jared Allen in this game? -- and he has responded with (mostly) good decisions. The Vikings have mishandled a couple of potential interceptions. But Cutler’s 7-yard touchdown pass to tight end Greg Olsen was a thing of beauty, sizzling right past cornerback Antoine Winfield, and demonstrated everything the Bears hoped to get when they traded for Cutler.
Favre, on the other hand, is getting harassed by a Bears pass rush that at times has included Gaines Adams and rookie Jarron Gilbert on the defensive line at the same time. Favre looks uncomfortable in the pocket and is getting rid of the ball just to get rid of it. I don’t know if it’s because of the temperature or other factors, but at this point the Vikings are going to have to make significant adjustments if they’re going to throw their way back into this game. To this point, they have 29 net yards passing.
The Bears could have taken one shot at the end zone before Robbie Gould kicked a 41-yard field goal to end the half. Cutler had the Bears offense on the line of scrimmage with 25 seconds left, but the Bears elected to let the clock run down to three seconds before calling a timeout. Maybe they didn’t want to get greedy.
I think we’re seeing more of why Cutler has been lobbying for receiver Devin Aromashodu this season. Aromashodu isn’t a speedster but he knows how to sit in the zone. He’s got three catches for 62 yards in the half.
The Bears’ radio broadcast reported that coach Lovie Smith made an emotional pregame plea for his players to have their best game of the season. To this point, they’ve done just that.