2015 DRAFT GUIDE
Chicago swarms its way to perfect 3-0 start

By WILL GRAVES - AP Sports Writer
    2013-09-23 02:59

PITTSBURGH (AP) - At the rate the Chicago Bears' defense is scoring, the offense might not be able to keep up.

At the moment, that's hardly a problem.

Major Wright returned an interception for a touchdown and Julius Peppers rumbled 42 yards after recovering Ben Roethlisberger's fumble for another score as the Bears remained unbeaten with a 40-23 win over the reeling Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday night.

The Bears forced five turnovers in all and improved to 3-0 for the second time in four years after racing to a 21-point lead then hitting the gas after the Steelers (0-3) drew within four in the fourth quarter.

``That's what we do, we take the ball away,'' Peppers said. ``We stress it in practice every day, and it carries over to the game ... we have to continue to do that on a weekly basis to continue to win, and I believe we'll be able to do that.''

Here are five reasons the Bears extended Pittsburgh's miserable September.

1. GETTING AFTER ROETHLISBERGER: Facing an offense that ranked 31st in the league coming in, the Bears decided to blitz Roethlisberger early and often. While Roethlisberger managed to throw for 406 yards passing and two touchdowns, he also tossed two interceptions and fumbled twice. Typically, ball security isn't an issue for Roethlisberger. It was when the Bears reached their paws out whenever he tried to step up in the pocket.

``I honestly thought the two fumbles were good plays,'' Roethlisberger said. ``Sometimes I don't want to call it luck, but sometimes they hit the ball just right and it pops out.''

2. STEADY UNDER PRESSURE: A field goal by Shaun Suisham early in the fourth quarter cut Chicago's advantage to 27-23 when the Bears responded with a nine-play 74-yard drive that ended with a 17-yard touchdown pass from Jay Cutler to Earl Bennett. Chicago converted three lengthy third downs during the drive, including Bennett's acrobatic catch in the corner of the end zone.

``The (defensive) back was there, but the throw was perfect and I was able to make the play,'' Bennett said. ``The way we played in the fourth quarter, that really shows how resilient we are.''

3. SLOPPY, SLOPPY: Pittsburgh spent the week leading up to the game preaching ball security. All that talk fell on deaf ears. Four of the turnovers led directly to points for the Bears. While the Steelers racked up 459 total yards, most of them came while they were trying to scramble back into the game.

``You're not going to beat anybody in the NFL playing like that,'' Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin said. ``We know it. We understand it. It doesn't make it any less painful but that's just the reality of where we are.''

4. PICKING PITTSBURGH APART: Cutler spent most of the game focusing on short passes to negate the variety of blitzes the Steelers threw his way. He completed 20 of 30 passes for 159 yards and was sacked just twice. He also made one of the game's biggest plays when he scrambled for 13 yards to extend the game-clinching drive. Rather than slide, Cutler opted to lower his shoulder and plow into Pittsburgh cornerback Robert Golden.

Cutler was on the better side of the collision.

``I wanted to make sure I had the first down,'' Cutler said. ``We were struggling on third down in the second half so I wanted to make sure we kept the drive going.''

5. FAST STARTS: The Bears won their first two games thanks to furious rallies. It wasn't required this time after Chicago moved in front 24-3 after Wright dashed 38 yards after stepping in front of Roethlisberger's pass in the second quarter. The cushion sent some at Heinz Field dashing to an early exit and gave Chicago a major boost playing on the road for the first time this season.

``We kept our poise in the noise,'' Chicago coach Marc Trestman said. ``That was number one tonight ... It wasn't easy to beat a great defensive team to the punch like we did at times tonight.''

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

---

Follow Will Graves at www.twitter.com/WillGravesAP

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Richard RodgersJul 1 05:03p

Green Bay Packers TE Richard Rodgers could see more playing time in 2015, according to Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. Rodgers played 528 snaps, while fellow TE Andrew Quarless played [ More ]

Rob HouslerJun 30 03:13p

Cleveland Browns TEs Gary Barnidge, Rob Housler and Jim Dray could all end up taking over for TE Jordan Cameron, who is now with the Miami Dolphins. Head coach [ More ]

Sam BradfordJun 29 05:22p

Philadelphia Eagles QB Sam Bradford (knee) is expected to be in the final phase of his rehabilitation from a torn anterior cruciate ligament once training camp begins. Bradford's second [ More ]

Charles JohnsonJun 29 02:02p

Minnesota Vikings WR Charles X. Johnson appears to have everything it takes to produce in the NFL, according to offensive coordinator Norv Turner. 'He's got great work ethic, and [ More ]

C.J. SpillerJun 28 09:02p

New Orleans Saints RB C.J. Spiller has a perfect skill-set for head coach Sean Payton's system, which relies on getting the ball to players in space, according Chris Wesseling [ More ]

Tony MoeakiJun 25 07:12p

Atlanta Falcons TE Tony Moeaki will compete with TE Jacob Tamme for the Falcons' starting tight end job during training camp. QB Matt Ryan praised both tight ends for [ More ]

Kelvin BenjaminJun 25 03:52p

Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin's reported weight gain this offseason is being overblown, according to general manager Dave Gettleman. Gettleman expects Benjamin to be ready to go for training [ More ]

Antoine CasonJun 25 03:03a

Free-agent CB Antoine Cason (foot) will miss the 2015 season due to surgery he underwent on Tuesday, June 23. Cason (Ravens) did not specify what type of surgery he [ More ]

Marvin JonesJun 24 09:13p

Cincinnati Bengals WR Marvin Jones (ankle, foot) did not play in 2014 due to multiple foot and ankle issues, but he is healthy and was impressive in organized team activities (OTAs) and minicamp.

Keith WenningJun 24 02:43p

Free-agent QB Keith Wenning (Ravens) signed with the Cincinnati Bengals Wednesday, June 24. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Pierre GarconJun 24 02:23p

Washington Redskins WR Pierre Garcon could be featured more often in the passing game this season based on the offseason workouts. Garcon often lined up to the right of [ More ]

Martavis BryantJun 24 01:43p

Pittsburgh Steelers WRs Markus Wheaton and Martavis Bryant are expected to compete for the No. 2 wide receiver job during training camp. Both players performed well during offseason workouts.

Peyton ManningJun 24 11:53a

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning was the subject of preliminary trade discussions with the Houston Texans, according to a source. The talks occurred before Manning restructured his deal and [ More ]

Rueben RandleJun 24 10:53a

New York Giants WR Rueben Randle was the best receiver on the field by a wide margin during spring practices, in the opinion of beat writer Jordan Ranaan. Randle [ More ]

Chris IvoryJun 24 10:43a

New York Jets RB Chris Ivory is listed as the starting running back entering training camp, according to beat writer Rich Cimini's unofficial depth chart. RB Bilal Powell is [ More ]

Devonta FreemanJun 23 10:22a

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman enters training camp ahead of RB Tevin Coleman on the depth chart.

Joseph RandleJun 23 10:02a

Dallas Cowboys RB Joseph Randle appears to be the clear leader at running back, and it's his job to lose in training camp.

Ahmad BradshawJun 22 11:32p

Free-agent RB Ahmad Bradshaw (Colts) has been suspended one game for violation of the league's substance abuse policy. If he signs with a team he must sit out for the first week.

Terrelle PryorJun 22 04:33p

Cincinnati Bengals WR Terrelle Pryor was claimed off waivers by the Cleveland Browns Monday, June 22, according to a source.

Fred DavisJun 19 06:02p

New England Patriots TE Fred Davis was released Friday, June 19.

Dennis PittaJun 19 02:22p

Baltimore Ravens TE Dennis Pitta (hip) was not medically cleared to practice in minicamp as he continues to recover from his second dislocated and fractured hip in as many [ More ]

Isaiah CrowellJun 19 01:22p

Cleveland Browns RB Isaiah Crowell could be the workhorse back if his ball security improves, according to offensive coordinator John DeFilippo.

Devonta FreemanJun 19 01:12p

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman will be used in a lot of different ways, including as a receiver, according to head coach Dan Quinn. 'I knew Devonta had terrific [ More ]

Chris OgbonnayaJun 19 11:32a

Free-agent RB Chris Ogbonnaya (Giants) announced his retirement Friday, June 19.

John MoffittJun 18 11:02p

Free-agent OG John Moffitt unretired Wednesday, June 17, and cleared waivers Thursday, June 18. He is free to sign with a team of his choosing. The Philadelphia Eagles, Miami [ More ]

Terrelle PryorJun 18 09:32p

Free-agent QB Terrelle Pryor is going to give it a shot at playing wide receiver in the NFL. Some teams have already expressed an interest.

Allen RobinsonJun 18 09:22p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Allen Robinson was described as 'unbelievable' by QB Blake Bortles Thursday, June 18. 'He's definitely a threat now in the red zone. ... He's physical. He [ More ]

Terrelle PryorJun 18 05:32p

Cincinnati Bengals QB Terrelle Pryor was waived Thursday, June 18.

Taylor ThompsonJun 18 05:32p

Tennesse Titans TE Taylor Thompson was waived Thursday, June 18.

Matthew MulliganJun 18 04:32p

Free-agent TE Matthew Mulligan (Titans) signed an undisclosed contract with the Buffalo Bills Thursday, June 18.

Carlton MitchellJun 18 04:22p

Free-agent WR Carlton Mitchell (Buccaneers) signed an undisclosed contract with the Atlanta Falcons Thursday, June 18. WR Shane Wynn was waived.

Daniel ThomasJun 18 04:12p

Free-agent RB Daniel Thomas (Dolphins) signed a one-year contract with the Chicago Bears Thursday, June 18. Financial terms were not disclosed.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group