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The Chicago Bears quarterback downplayed a perceived rift between him and the team's offensive coordinator.
The Chicago Bears beat the Dallas Cowboys, 34-18, on Monday night, thanks in large part to an opportunistic defense that picked off Tony Romo five times and scored two touchdowns. Bloggers for both teams had plenty to say about the game.
In a Notes and Jottings column at Windy City Gridiron, Steven Schweikert says that Jay Cutler mostly "hit his windows, gave his receivers plays, and didn't take too many unnecessary risks." Schweikert also says that the defensive line was good, despite only sacking Romo once, as the Bears front brought "more pressure than the Marianas Trench."
Over at Blogging the Boys, in a By the Numbers post, blogger rabblerousr notes that the Cowboys' starting offensive line has played all of three snaps together this year. The Cowboys, after four games, are last in the league in points scored, and are averaging a paltry 53 yards on the ground per game.
The 3-1 Chicago Bears will look to keep possession of first place in the NFC North this Sunday against Jacksonville.
Former first-round pick Chris Williams was inactive for Monday night's 34-13 Chicago win over the Dallas Cowboys.
Tony Romo said Monday night he "tried to do too much" in a 34-13 loss to the Bears.
The Chicago Bears are nearing the top five in most of the weekly power rankings following their primetime win over the Dallas Cowboys on Monday night,
The Bear Trap salutes Tony Romo as league's derpiest quarterback, and praises Brandon Marshall and. . . J'Marcus Webb?!?!
The Bears improved to 3-1 behind a dominating defensive effort on Monday night. SB Nation Chicago's Ricky O'Donnell examines the victory.
The Chicago Bears defense dominated during Monday night's 34-18 win over the Dallas Cowboys, forcing five Tony Romo interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns by Charles Tillman and Lance Briggs. That puts the Bears at 11 interceptions and 14 total turnovers on the season, which leads the NFL in both categories.
Major Wright recorded the first two-interception game of his career. Both of his picks came after halftime, marking the first time a Bears player has done that since Lance Briggs in 2008. Tillman's interception was the 31st of his career and sixth touchdown off an interception, both of which are franchise records. Briggs' 74-yard interception return for a touchdown was the longest of his career.
What might be the most impressive aspect of the Bears' defensive performance against the Cowboys is that four of their five interceptions came with four or fewer players rushing the passer. Chicago now has eight interceptions in that type of situation this year, tied for most in the NFL.
Bears' quarterback Jay Cutler tried to down play his exchange with Mike Tice when speaking after the game
Chicago led 10-7 at halftime, but exploded for 24 points in the second half to pull away. The Bears got the second half scoring started with a 34-yard touchdown reception by Devin Hester.
That touchdown put the Bears up 10, but Lance Briggs extended the lead a few minutes later on a 74-yard interception return for a touchdown. It was the Bears' second defensive touchdown of the game. Briggs' interception was one of five Tony Romo threw on Monday.
Brandon Marshall put the exclamation point on the game with 6:35 to play in the fourth quarter when he hauled in a 31-yard touchdown. Marshall finished with seven receptions for 138 yards and a touchdown. Jay Cutler finished an efficient 18-of-24 for 275 yards and two touchdowns.
On the other side of the field, the Cowboys struggled to put points on the board. Romo threw for 307 yards but threw just one touchdown pass compared to the five interceptions. The Cowboys were unable to get much of a running game going with DeMarco Murray rushing for just 24 yards on 11 carries.
Fantasy studs and duds
Marshall had a huge game, hauling in seven receptions for 138 yards and a touchdown while the Bears' D/ST was also a big fantasy scorer with five interceptions, two touchdowns and a sack.
Tony Romo was a dud with the five interceptions while DeMarco Murray didn't get much going on the ground but salvaged the game somewhat with seven catches for 57 yards.
Cowboys linebacker Bruce Carter left the game during the first quarter with a hip injury, but later returned.
Did they cover?
The Cowboys entered the game as -3-1/2 point favorites, a number they obviously failed to cover with the 16-point loss.
10/7 4:05 p.m. ET: Chicago at Jacksonville
10/14 1 p.m. ET: Dallas at Baltimore
This post originally appeared on SBNation.com.
Miami Heat forward LeBron James is a noted Dallas Cowboys fan and, like other Cowboy fans across the country, James was watching Dallas play on Monday Night Football.
It all started out innocently with James watching the game while wearing a Cowboys T-shirt.
Lets Go!!instagr.am/p/QQpBfPCTCz/— LeBron James (@KingJames) October 2, 2012
James appeared to enjoy the first half, especially when the Cowboys scored late in the second quarter to make it a 10-7 game at the half.
Yes sir! Great drive. Needed that TD going into the half— LeBron James (@KingJames) October 2, 2012
Godamn Romo!!— LeBron James (@KingJames) October 2, 2012
As things began to get worse for the Cowboys, James started looking toward Heat practice on Tuesday where he would have to face Chicago native Dwyane Wade.
I'm going to bed! SMD. Not looking forward to seeing @dwyanewade 2morrow at practice. Like Pops said "U live, u live to fight another day"— LeBron James (@KingJames) October 2, 2012
At least he found something to take his mind off the tough loss.
Well at least i can always fall back and watch SpongeBob Squarepants.— LeBron James (@KingJames) October 2, 2012
A litany of turnovers followed in the wake of the Hester score. A long Cowboys drive ended in a interception by Bears safety Major Wright. The Bears coughed it right back after the Cowboys recovered a Cutler fumble
But on the ensuing Cowboys possession, Dallas quarterback Tony Romo was intercepted for a third time. This time, Bears linebacker Lance Briggs returned the pick 74 yards for a score, marking the second defensive touchdown of the game for Chicago.
For the game, Cutler has played an efficient game, completing 15-of-20 passes for 189 yards. Wide receiver Brandon Marshall has five catches for 77 yards. Running back Matt Forte has shaken off an early injury to rush for 48 yards on 10 carries.
We all know by now that Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler has a bit of a temper. Cutler has taken plenty of heat in the past for poor body language, yelling at teammates and tiffs with coaches. Well, that infamous Cutler temper flared up again on Monday night against the Dallas Cowboys when offensive coordinator Mike Tice went to discuss some things in the second quarter:
This is pretty much classic Cutler, although it's not quite as hilarious as when he screamed a certain four-letter expletive at former offensive coordinator Mike Martz last season. I'm sure this will be used as more ammo for the Cutler bashers, but it's probably not much of an issue. Guys get frustrated sometimes on the sideline. It just so happens that Cutler seems to have a rather jerky way of expressing his frustrations. He may be a bit of a jerk, but he's the Bears' jerk.
The game was scoreless for the majority of the half before Robbie Gould's 43-yard field goal with 4:21 left broke the tie. The field goal capped a 13-play drive that spanned over seven minutes.
Bears cornerback Charles Tillman has scored the lone touchdown of the game for the Bears, picking off Tony Romo and returning it 25 yards for a score with 2:46 remaining in the opening half. It's the second straight week the Bears' defense has put points on the board, as Major Wright returned an interception for a score in Week 3 against the St. Louis Rams.
Besides the interception, Romo has had some success against the Bears defense, completing 17-of-21 passes for 168 yards and the touchdown to Austin. But in the typical fashion of Lovie Smith's defense, the Bears have managed to limit the damage on the scoreboard.
Bears running back Matt Forte returned to action after missing last week's win over the St. Louis Rams, but he limped off the field after one play. Forte was quickly attended to by trainers and had his ankle re-taped before returning to the field.
In Forte's stead, Michael Bush had three rushes for 11 yards and also caught one pass for eight yards. Bears quarterback Jay Cutler completed 5-of-7 passes in the quarter, but the five completions totaled just 22 yards. Wide receiver Brandon Marshall caught one pass for 13 yards.
Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo went 5-of-6 passing for 50 yards in the frame. Romo drove the Cowboys into Bears territory on Dallas' opening possession, but the threat was snuffed out thanks to a sack by Henry Melton. The sack was Melton's fourth of the season.
The Chicago Bears won't have wide receiver Earl Bennett and defensive tackle Matt Toeaina, among others, on Monday night as they face the Dallas Cowboys, but they will be able to take solace in the return of running back Matt Forte. The team just released its list of inactives for Monday's game, and while Forte isn't on it, Bennett and Toeiana are.
Bennett has been fairly quiet so far this season since the team acquired new receivers in Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, but the Bears' offense hasn't really gotten going yet. In the first three games of 2012, Bennett caught just six passes for 82 yards, but he'll be sitting out on Monday with a hand injury.
Forte's return is big news for the Bears, as the team obviously looks better with one of its primary playmakers on the field. The running back has battled a lot of injuries over the past year, but he's active and playing on Monday after sitting out last week.
Linebacker Anthony Spencer is the primary absence for Dallas on Monday night as the former first round pick sits out with a strained pectoral muscle. Victor Butler is expected to start at outside linebacker in Spencer's place against the Bears.
This story originally appeared on SBNation.com.
Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte is expected to play on Monday night against the Dallas Cowboys, according to reports.
Kyle Orton is looking forward to reuniting with his old Chicago teammates Monday night as the Bears face-off with the Dallas Cowboys
SB Nation Chicago got together to talk about the Bears' Monday night meeting with the Dallas Cowboys.
The Chicago Bears will decide at Cowboys Stadium whether Matt Forte can go on Monday night.
Fantasy football owners would be wise to start Chicago Bears running back Michael Bush vs. the Dallas Cowboys on Monday night.
Monday's showdown between the Chicago Bears and Dallas Cowboys will feature one of the league's lowest-rated offensives trying to carve up the top-ranked defense. That No. 1 spot belongs to the Cowboys, who are very proud of their top-ranked unit, says defensive coordinator Rob Ryan (via ESPNDallas.com's Todd Archer).
"It’s going to be big if we can get it after 16 weeks, that would be good," Ryan said. "We’re happy where we are. The guys have been working hard. We're not ashamed of being No. 1, that’s where you want to be."
Dallas' defensive success has been attributed to Ryan's schemes, which have stopped the likes of Russell Wilson, Josh Freeman and two-time Super Bowl winner Eli Manning. However, Ryan admits he has little to do with his team's production.
"I haven’t done anything," Ryan said. "I think all of our players and coaches have. We’re working hard. Look, we want to have a great defense and that’s the way it is. We’re excited where we are but more excited about where we’re going."
Jay Culter is excited for Monday night's challenge of playing against a Rob Ryan defense.
Despite the addition of star wide receiver Brandon Marshall, Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler has not been successful throwing the ball down the field so far this season.
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo gave his oft-criticized offensive line a vote of confidence Friday heading into Monday's matchup against the Chicago Bears.
Chicago Bears wide receiver doesn't think he's getting enough touches on offense.
Chicago Bears running back Michael Bush suffered a shoulder injury while filling in for Matt Forte during the team's Week 3 win over the St. Louis Rams, but Bush felt well enough that he wasn't even listed on Thursdays injury report and now he is expecting to play against the Dallas Cowboys on Monday night. Bush told ESPN Chicago "I'm always ready" when asked if he would be able to step in for Matt Forte, but he also added that he thinks Forte will play as well.
Bush has performed well for the Bears so far in 2012, rushing for 151 yards and three touchdowns on 44 carries. Even if Forte (ankle) is ready to go, Bush should still see carries because Mike Tice could be looking to shift pressure away from Jay Cutler and J'Marcus Webb in the passing game. The Bears were worried about the running back situation earlier in the week, because they held tryouts with Ryan Grant and Jacob Hester. Neither player signed with the team, so Kahlil Bell and Lorenzo Booker are the next men in line on the depth chart.
Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall and Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant have a few things in common. Both are incredibly talented, and both have dealt with off-field issues. While Bryant isn't as accomplished on the field as Marshall, he has the potential to be one of the league's best pass-catchers.
Marshall was asked about the similarities between himself and Bryant on Monday. He passed on the question at first but eventually offered praise for the Cowboy:
"I think Dez is a great talent," said Marshall. "I think with the guys he has in the locker room, some Christians, strong believers in that locker room, he's in good place. Dez, I'm looking forward to seeing his career blossom and really take advantage of his opportunities."
Marshall leads the Bears with 16 catches for 214 yards and a touchdown in 2012. This season, Bryant has 13 catches for 164 yards.
Bryant has often been at the center of legal trouble, including an arrest in July on a misdemeanor family violence charge. Marshall's issues include allegedly punching a woman outside a New York nightclub in March.
The Bears and Cowboys square off in this week's edition of Monday Night Football. The game is set to kick off at 7:30 p.m. CT on ESPN.
Chicago Bears tight end Evan Rodriguez will not play in the team's Monday night game against the Dallas Cowboys due to a knee injury he suffered against the Rams last Sunday.
Most experts are picking the Cowboys to defeat the Bears on Monday, but SB Nation's own Joel Thorman likes the Bears to prevail.
Jay Cutler showed frustration with some questions asked of him on Thursday.
Spencer has played in each of the Cowboys' first three games, registering 12 tackles and two sacks. The first word of any injury for the linebacker came after Wednesday's practice, when he stated that "everything" was a health issue –referring to himself, of course.
Spencer dealt with a hamstring injury prior to the start of the season, and missed several practices as a means of playing it safe. At the time, he was worried about it affecting his ability to stay on the field once the games started:
"Pretty much everybody I talk to they talk about not coming back too early because you don't want to risk doing it again because it could re-occur. I don't want to have something like this happen all season."
Six other Cowboys players missed practice on Thursday as well, including punter Chris Jones (knee), safety Matt Johnson (hamstring, back), linebacker Alex Albright (neck), center Phil Costa (back), defensive tackle Jay Ratliff (ankle) and defensive end Kenyon Coleman (knee).
There was a bit of good news on the Cowboys injury front on Thursday though, as safety Gerald Sensabaugh participated for the second consecutive day. Sensabaugh missed all of last week, including the Cowboys' 16-10 win over Tampa Bay on Sunday.
The Bears and Cowboys may have different worldviews, but their on-field similarities are too stark to ignore. SB Nation Chicago's Ricky O'Donnell is expecting a game characterized by quarterbacks under siege.
The Chicago Bears likely won't get to see the Dallas Cowboys without safety Gerald Sensabaugh on Monday Night Football. ESPN reports that Sensabaugh said he expects to play in the Week 4 matchup, after missing last week's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
"I hate missing games," said Sensabaugh, who participated fully in Wednesday's walk-through.
The Wednesday practice is generally much lighter than others, so when official practice participation reports come out on Thursday and Friday, a clearer picture of where Sensabaugh is at will be had. He's only missed two games in his four seasons with Dallas, and played in 45 consecutive games before being replaced by Danny McCray in the lineup on Sunday.
Barry Church, the starting free safety, suffered a season-ending torn Achilles last week, while rookie Matt Johnson is still recovering from injuries to his back and hamstring. That means Sensabaugh will be joiining McCray and Mana Silva as the only three active safeties if he really is ready to go on Monday. The extra day should help out, especially given that there was always a chance that Sensabaugh would play against Tampa Bay.
Robbie Gould is nearing the NFL record for consecutive field goals of 50-plus yards.
The Chicago Bears are slight underdogs heading into their Monday Night Football matchup against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 4.
The Dallas Cowboys have struggled along the offensive so far in 2012, so the Chicago Bears are not alone in their failings.
Matt Forte returned to practice on Wednesday, and now expects to play on Monday night when the Bears take on the Dallas Cowboys.
Both the Cowboys and the Bears enter the game at 2-1, and one of the two teams will be off to an excellent 3-1 mark on Tuesday morning.
Here's a look at the full schedule for Week 4 in the NFL. All times listed are CT.
Thursday, Sept. 27
After Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher spent nearly all of the preseason on the sidelines with a knee injury, it was fair to wonder if he would be able to play at the same level he has throughout his career. Through three games this season, Urlacher has been healthy and is currently third on the team in tackles.
"I met him at school twice. He's getting older but he is still the leader of their defense whether he has lost a step or not. And whether he has truly lost a step or not, I think you may be able to tell that by the end of the season. He still makes plays. He's still their emotional leader.
(via Chicago Tribune)
Through three weeks, Urlacher has 14 tackles, including one for a loss, and two pass deflections.
Before the Chicago Bears and Dallas Cowboys square off on Monday night, we got together with Tom Ryle from SB Nation Dallas to get an insider's perspective on Big D.
The Chicago Bears have already amassed 14 sacks this season -- the most for the team through three games since 1987 -- and the Bears are hoping they can stay atop the standings in that category. It might not be quite as easy to get to Tony Romo, but Chicago's defense has shown that it's ready to pressure quarterbacks this year.
The Bears are two sacks ahead of every other team in the NFL and a whopping four sacks ahead of the Seattle Seahawks, a surprising statistic for those who were able to watch this week's Monday Night Football game.
Defensive end Julius Peppers says that the reason Chicago is so far ahead of everyone else, though, is due to the depth that the Bears have on the defensive side of the football.
"It's been good. It's been good," defensive end Julius Peppers said before amending his evaluation. "It's been OK. I probably said it about 50 times already but we have a little bit more depth. Guys got better since last year, we have a good rotation that keeps us fresh and the end result is shown in the stats."
Eight different Bears players have at least one sack this season and, although it helps that the team was able to get to St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford six times, there's no indication that Chicago's sack-masters are going to slow down anytime soon.
The Chicago Bears brought in former Packers running back Ryan Grant for a workout, but the veteran has decided to sign with the Washington Redskins.
The Chicago Bears will likely be without RB Matt Forte again this week and have brought in Ryan Grant for workouts as they prepare for the Dallas Cowboys.
The Chicago Bears are bringing in former Green Bay Packers running back Ryan Grant for a workout. Matt Forte missed Sunday's game, but it's unclear if further missed time is the catalyst for this visit.
Jay Cutler says the Bears' goal is to score points – either ugly or fancy will do
The Bears are not winning style points, but they are winning games.
One week after a rough outing against the Green Bay Packers, the much-maligned Chicago Bears offensive line bounced back in a 23-6 victory over the St. Louis Rams in Week 3. Bears quarterback Jay Cutler was sacked just twice and praised the line's improvement (via ESPN Chicago):
"The line played well," Cutler said. "They had a little edge to them. You go into a game and you're up in the third and fourth quarter and know you're going to run the ball. Those guys came in when I needed it and opened up some holes. I thought the line played well."
Cutler also singled out the play of left guard Chilo Rachal, who made his first start of the season in place of Chris Spencer. Rachal himself spoke highly of left tackle J'Marcus Webb, who struggled mightily against the Packers in Week 2 and was openly criticized by Cutler during that game.
While the Bears' offensive line still has a lot of work to do, this performance was a step in the right direction after the seven-sack disaster against Green Bay.
The Chicago Bears' defense racked up six sacks in Sunday's victory against the St. Louis Rams. That continues an impressive stretch for the Bears' pass rush, which now leads the league with 14 sacks through the first three games of 2012.
Bears head coach Lovie Smith believes the intensity of the defensive line stems from the pressure that players feel to perform in practice. That may be due to the fact that the team dresses seven out of their ten linemen for any given game, meaning in-house competition is plentiful, as Smith told ESPN Chicago's Michael C. Wright:
"We base it a lot on how they practice each week. They realize that, so you have to have your A-game every day to get into a position to play these games. Maybe it's just as simple as that."
The Bears defense may need to continue to take down opposing quarterbacks at an alarming rate, as Chicago's own offense hasn't lived up to its billing so far. Next up for the Bears and their vaunted pass rush is the Dallas Cowboys, who have allowed quarterback Tony Romo to be sacked seven times thus far.
The Chicago Bears are "hopeful" that starting running back Matt Forte will be able to play against the Dallas Cowboys on Oct. 1, as head coach Lovie Smith told WBBM 780 on Monday. The Bears are visiting Texas to play the Cowboys on Monday Night Football next Monday.
While noting that Forte has made significant progress, Smith expressed his hope that he'll be able to play:
We're just hopeful that [Forte will] be able to go. If not, our running backs, not only Michael Bush (Sunday), but Kahlil Bell and Armando Allen all did a good job. But we hope we'll get our stud running back back.
After suffering a sprained ankle in Chicago's Week 2 matchup against the Green Bay Packers, Forte was forced to sit out Sunday's 23-6 victory over the St. Louis Rams. Backup Michael Bush played fairly well in his absence, rushing 18 times for 55 yards and a touchdown as the primary ball carrier.
Without Forte, the Bears have used Armando Allen and Kahlil Bell as their backup running backs, but Forte's return would move those players to more appropriate roles on the roster.
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