Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Jay Cutler hooked up with Brandon Marshall for
a go-ahead 19-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter, as the Chicago Bears
began the Marc Trestman era with a 24-21 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals
in the season-opener for both teams on Sunday at Soldier Field.
Cutler finished 21-of-33 passing for 242 yards, two touchdowns and an
interception, while Marshall hauled in eight passes for 104 yards and the
deciding score for the Bears (1-0), who went 10-6 last season but missed out
on the playoffs after losing a tiebreaker with Minnesota for the sixth seed in
Matt Forte rushed 19 times for 50 yards and a touchdown in the victory,
helping Trestman become just the fourth Bears head coach to win his debut
contest, joining Hall of Famer George S. Halas (1920), Neill Armstrong (1978)
and Dick Jauron (1999).
Cincinnati signal-caller Andy Dalton completed 26-of-33 passes for 282 yards,
two touchdowns and two interceptions, while A.J. Green grabbed a game-high
nine passes for 162 yards and both of Dalton's touchdowns.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis added a rushing score for the Bengals (0-1), who entered
the postseason as a wild card club last season, but failed to score an
offensive touchdown in a 19-13 loss at Houston in the opening round.
Cincinnati led 14-10 at the break before opening the second half with a 12-
play, 80-yard scoring march that Green-Ellis capped with a 5-yard TD run.
Dalton converted a pair of third downs on the trek before a pass interference
call against Chicago's Charles Tillman in the end zone set up Green-Ellis'
score to extend Cincinnati's lead to 21-10.
Cutler countered with a scoring march of his own, converting a 3rd-and-7 with
a 30-yard completion to Martellus Bennett before hitting Alshon Jeffery for 18
more down to the Cincinnati 5.
Two plays later, Forte punched it from a yard out to bring the Bears within
21-17 with 3:22 left in the third.
The Bears forced a quick three-and-out from the Bengals, but Cutler was picked
off by Vontaze Burfict on the third play of Chicago's ensuing drive to give
Cincinnati possession at the Chicago 40.
However, the Bengals gave the ball right back, as Mohamed Sanu was stripped
by Tim Jennings, who pounced on the loose ball at the Chicago 19.
Cutler then guided the Bears into Cincinnati territory, converting a 3rd-and-3
with a 38-yard strike to Marshall down to the Cincinnati 36.
After a holding penalty pushed the Bears back, Cutler scrambled for 18 yards
before Forte was stuffed for a short gain to set up 4th-and-1 from the 27-yard
With over eight minutes remaining, the Bears elected to go for it rather than
kick a field goal and Forte took a carry around the right end for eight yards
and a fresh set of downs.
Cutler put the Bears in front on the next play, firing a strike to Marshall in
the left side of the end zone for a 19-yard score and a 24-21 lead.
Chicago forced a quick three-and-out from the Bengals and with Cincinnati out
of timeouts, the Bears were able to run out the clock to complete their come-
Dalton was picked off by Tillman on Cincinnati's opening drive and the Bears
quickly cashed in, as Cutler converted a 3rd-and-17 with an 18-yard strike to
Marshall before hitting Bennett in the back of the end zone two plays later
for an 8-yard touchdown and a 7-0 lead just over five minutes into the game.
After the teams exchanged three-and-outs, Dalton got the Bengals on the board,
orchestrating a 9-play, 97-yard drive that culminated in a 2-yard scoring
strike to Green to tie the game at 7-7.
Dalton put together another lengthy scoring drive midway through the second,
converting a pair of third downs before finding Green deep down the right
sideline for a 45-yard touchdown and a 14-7 lead.
Robbie Gould buried a 58-yard field goal in the waning seconds of the first
half to send the Bears into the break facing a four-point deficit.
Gould's 58-yard field goal was the longest in Bears franchise history ... It
was Tillman's second career multi-INT game ... Green is the first Bengals
player with two TD catches in a season opener since Cris Collinsworth in 1986
... Green-Ellis finished with 25 yards on 14 carries.
The Sports Network