By ANDREW SELIGMAN
AP Sports Writer
LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — Lance Briggs understands exactly how thin a line the Chi town Bears are toeing at the moment.
They can easily be winless rather than unbeaten, and they just might be regrouping from a loss had Jay Cutler not really delivered a perfect pass to Martellus Bennett in the closing seconds in order to beat the Minnesota Vikings 31-30 on Sunday.
That came to the heels of a season-opening win over Cincinnati in which they rallied from eleven down in the second half.
That will line between 2-0 and 0-2?
“It’s minute, very, very small, inch Briggs said on Monday. “In those critical situations, a guy can just as easily gotten his hand up, come through that series, gotten a sack, disrupted the throw, or the throw be a small to the left or right, and we reduce that game. ”
He stated the Bears are “starting to make an identity, ” and resilient is looking like a good description.
That doesn’t mean they’re a polished lot. It would help if they got more from their pass rush, starting recently at Pittsburgh, and that largely hinges on a healthy Julius Peppers.
He’s been a nonfactor so far and the Bears have just two sacks so far. Peppers sat out some preseason practices because of a hamstring issue, and was sent home from the Bears’ facility last week because of flu symptoms, missing practice on Thursday.
This individual played against the Vikings, but coach Marc Trestman said he was probably feeling worse than he or she did in the days leading up to the game.
“I don’t know that he had the energy to play as hard as he probably could play, ” Trestman stated. “I thought he was involved, he ran some plays lower, but overall, in his defense I think that he wasn’t getting better at the time. This individual was still not ascending, and didn’t look well to me this morning when I saw him in the meeting too. ”
He said the moist conditions hindered the pass rush and that it will improve with Peppers healthy. That issue aside, there are plenty of positives the Bears can take in the first two games.
Cutler continues to be sacked just once behind a rebuilt line. The Bears are getting stability in the passing game with Brandon Marshall and Matt Forte with 15 catches and Bennett along with 10. Devin Hester — keep in mind him? — re-emerged as a force on kickoff returns, running back again five for a team-record 249 yards against Minnesota.
All those were motivating signs, as was this: The Bears showed again they’re a minimum of a resilient bunch even if these people not quite a finished product and they can pull out games late.
“We’ve seen a unique team resiliency, an ability to keep our poise, an ability to just move onto the next enjoy without what happened on the last enjoy inhibiting us, ” Trestman stated. “What’s exciting now is we have to get it done. We don’t have the help of our fans, we don’t have the help of Soldier Industry. We’ve got to go do it on our personal and this will be the first week we will have a chance to do that. ”
Straight down six after the Vikings’ Blair Walsh kicked a 22-yard field objective with just over three minutes left, the Bears didn’t flinch. They took over at the 34 and rapidly made their move.
Cutler capped the drive with a perfect 16-yard pass to the back shoulder of the twisting Bennett in the end zone along with 10 seconds left, and Robbie Gould kicked the go-ahead additional point, keeping Chicago unbeaten plus atop the NFC North.
“Our guys are playing smart, inch Trestman said. “They’re playing disciplined. And they’re giving themselves a chance to win games in the fourth quarter. That is all you really want to do in the Nationwide Football League. You’re seldom going to blow anybody out. You’re going to need to play four quarters. And every minute counts. If you stay disciplined plus stay poised and take care of the ball you’ve got a chance. ”
NOTES: Trestman said Bennett is expected to play this week after bruising his shoulder against the Vikings. He landed hard behind the back of the end zone catching a pass in the second quarter plus was in pain after the game. Trestman said Bennett had full range of motion on Monday.
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