Jay Cutler leads huge late drive, hits Martellus Bennett for Chicago Bears’ game-winner

Eric Edholm
September 15, 2013

The Chicago Bears looked to be in a little trouble when the Vikings took a six-point lead with just over three minutes left. Especially with Jay Cutler at the helm.

Cutler started hot but threw two tide-turning interceptions, and Matt Forte had fumbled in a two-turnover fourth quarter for the Bears. The Vikings had controlled the action and looked to be running with all the momentum.

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But Cutler drove the Bears down from their own 34-yard line with nice completions to Forte, Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery and then tight end Martellus Bennett for 23 yards. The Bears had the ball at the Minnesota Vikings' 16-yard line with 22 seconds left.

First down: a Cutler spike.

Second down: Cutler overthrowing Jeffery.

Third down: a gorgeous strike to Bennett for the score, with 10 seconds left.

Never a doubt, right? The Bears recovered the ensuing kickoff, and that was that. The extra point made it 31-30 Bears for the final.

Cutler hasn't always passed the test in these situations in his career, and we seemed to be seeing both the best and worst of Cutler in this one game. But give new head coach Marc Trestman credit: He and Cutler have done some really nice things offensively in a 2-0 start, beating two 2012 postseason teams.

And don't overlook the signing of Bennett, who had seven catches for 76 yards and two touchdown passes in this game, bringing his season total to three. He, like Cutler, has been a bit of a tease in the past, and clearly we're only two games into the season. But Bennett has provided a great foil for Marshall and the other pass catchers, and Cutler clearly loves throwing in the direction of the Black Unicorn.

Is this the start of something special? That's two heart-thumpers in a row for the Bears, but teams that can win these types of games tend to be very well prepared for the stretch run.

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