Admit it, you were worried. Jay was 1-10 for 13 yards and a pick six. The offensive line had a sack and penalty on the first drive. It was all going to go horribly awry. We've seen this movie before! Every time they tell us the shiny toy will change things it just blows up in our faces.
Except... maybe not. Maybe these Bears are different. Because after that Jay Cutler was 20 of 25 for 320 yards and two TDs. Two glorious TDs to his shiny new toys, Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery. New acquisition Michael Bush threw in two more, and, hey, Matt Forte's still here, and he's still awesome.
Maybe these Bears can score some points. Maybe these Bears are pretty good.
The Offensive Line: I want to single these guys out, because the Bears were hammered all offseason long for their faith in the guys they had. Things looked ugly early, with a sack and penalty on the first drive, but they spent the rest of the game providing Cutler with the kinds of clean pockets he has rarely seen in Chicago, and he responded. They gave up just 1 sack the rest of the way and paved the way for 114 yards rushing and 3 rushing TDs from Bush and Forte. All told, the offense finished with 425 yards of offense and 41 pts, largely due to the guys up front. Let's hope this keeps up.
Jay Cutler: I've never seen Jay Cutler look as awful as he did on those first ten throws. Nor have I seen him look quite as dominant as he did afterward. The result? A final line of 20/35 (60%) for 333 yds (9.5 YPA) 2 TDs, 1 INT, and a sparkly 98.9 rating. His old rapport with Brandon Marshall clearly hadn't missed a step, and I can't remember anything in my life more beautiful than that laser 42 yard toss to Alshon Jeffery. Jay is back, people, and he may be better than ever.
Two-Headed RB Monster: Forte and Bush combined for 28 carries for 122 yds (4.4) and 3 TDs, and the Bears actually converted multiple times on short yardage. So. Much. Talent.
Brandon Marshall: Is this...is this what a wide receiver does? 9 receptions for 119 yards and a TD? Cutler hit Marshall repeatedly on slants, posts, comebacks, and one gorgeous back shoulder toss. Marshall created space and got open in the red zone for the Bears second TD of the game, and it's obvious that Cutler trusts him implicitly. He pulled in catch after catch despite double and even triple teams, and it's obvious that the attention he generated opened things up for Jeffery and the others. It was nice to have Cutler and Marshall justify the hype right away. Now they can just go play football.
Alshon Jeffery: For a guy who is supposedly fat and slow, Alshon sure got down quick on his 3 catches. He had a couple of nice catch and runs and then, well, you saw it, and it. was. awesome. He finished with 3 catches for 80 yards and TD.
Earl Bennett: The BBE threw in 3 receptions for 50 yards, all of them for first downs, two of them on third down, because he's a stone cold mother fucker. For the whole, the Bears wide receivers combined for 17 of Cutler's 21 completions for 276 yards, making it the most productive day for the Bears perimeter players since...maybe ever?
Henry Melton: The entire defensive line was disruptive all day, from Shea McClellin announcing his presence with an excellent hurry on 3rd down early in the game, to Julius Peppers making yet another awesome fumble recovery, to limiting the Colts to just 63 yards rushing (even Corey Wootton had his second career sack!), but Henry Melton stood out all day. He had 2 sacks late in the game after he'd keyed the entire defensive line for much of the afternoon. If HenMel can take advantage of lining up right next to Peppers and be the young Tommie Harris that he has the potential to be, look out.
Tim Jennings: After Tillman went out (God I hope he's ready to go for Green Bay), Jennings stepped up in a big way with 2 interceptions and a tipped ball that Conte picked off in the end zone. He was solid in coverage all day and really answered Lovie's challenge to generate more turnovers. Nice job, Tim. For the record, Kelvin Hayden played very well and may not be DOOM if he has to play in GB.
Brian Urlacher: He wasn't a huge factor, but, in the best of both worlds scenario, he played And the Bears were up big enough to pull him out early. Hope he knocked the rust off for Thursday.
1st Quarter Offense: It never happened. Never. Happened.
Andrew Luck: The kid will be fine, and he held up well despite constant pressure, but I know I'm going to hear people fellate him (and Bears meatballs panic) over the 300 yards he put up, mostly after the Bears were up 34-14 and pulled Urlacher, Peppers, and Briggs. He threw 3 picks and mostly gained garbage time yardage. He looked completely ineffective before the Bears called off the dogs. Let's not crown his ass yet. Now RGIII....
Charles Tillman Leaving the Game: That's never good. Please let it be minor.
Nothing. Football is back, the Bears won big, and that offense is unlike anything we've ever had the privilege to watch. Life is good, man.
Go Bears. Hate Week begins....NOW.