Cutler makes up for INT as Bears beat Raiders 22-20
CHICAGO (AP) Jay Cutler was not sure he would be ready to play until he warmed up before the game.
Once it started, he appeared to be in good form. And in the end, he made up for a big interception by orchestrating a drive that led to Robbie Gould’s last-second field goal.
That gave the Bears their first win of the season – and their first under coach John Fox.
Cutler threw for two touchdowns and redeemed himself following an interception by helping set up a 49-yard field goal by Gould in the closing seconds Sunday, leading the Bears to a 22-20 victory over the Oakland Raiders.
”If you know anything about Jay, he’s a tough son-of-a-buck,” Fox said. ”I mean, he fought an injury. Some lesser guys may not have been out there. He was. I thought all in all he played outstanding, well enough for us to win. My hat’s off to his toughness just battling through that game.”
The Raiders (2-2) grabbed the lead on a field goal by Sebastian Janikowski with just over two minutes remaining set up by an interception by Charles Woodson. He picked off a pass thrown behind Martellus Bennett deep in Oakland territory.
But Cutler led Chicago (1-3) from its 20 to the Oakland 32 before Gould nailed the winner in the closing seconds.
”I was really happy to see smiles in there,” Fox said. ”I’m really happy for our fans because we haven’t exactly lit it up here at home in the first two opportunities.”
Some things to know from the Bears’ last-second win:
ON THE REBOUND: The Bears showed some resiliency and so did their quarterback.
Chicago shook off two embarrassing losses, including their first shutout since 2002 last week at Seattle, to give Fox his first victory since he was hired in the offseason. The win came at the expense of Oakland coach Jack Del Rio, his defensive coordinator in Carolina and Denver. And it capped a busy week that saw Chicago trade Jared Allen to Carolina.
Cutler threw for 281 yards, completing 28 of 43 passes, even though his mobility was limited.
LINE DEPTH: The Bears will have to find a new center at least for now after losing Will Montgomery to a broken leg on the game’s opening drive. Matt Slauson moved over from left guard after Montgomery went down. But Chicago has some decisions to make this week.
One option could be starting Hroniss Grasu at center and leaving Slauson at left guard. If they go with Slauson at center, Patrick Omameh could start at left guard. Chicago could also look outside for help.
FROM STARRING ROLE TO BENCHED: Latavius Murray went from a starring role last week to the bench by the end of this game. After running for a career-high 139 yards in last week’s win at Cleveland, he finished with 49 yards and had a hand in two turnovers. He fumbled a pitch, resulting in a recovery for Chicago, and juggled a pass into Pernell McPhee’s arms for an interception.
STANDING AT END: As bad as the Bears have looked this season, they stayed close for at least a half in their first three games. The difference this time was they finally pulled out the win after coming up short against Green Bay, getting blown out by Arizona and shut out by Seattle.
”Everyone talks about how you need confidence,” Fox said. ”Well, if nothing good happens to you, it’s hard to have confidence.”
TIGHT END TROUBLE: Tight ends continue to give the Raiders trouble.
Chicago’s Martellus Bennett joined the list with 11 catches for 83 yards and a touchdown.
A week earlier, Cleveland’s Gary Barnidge had 105 yards and a TD.
In the first two games, Cincinnati’s Tyler Eifert had 104 yards and two TDs. And against Baltimore a week later, Crockett Gillmore had 88 yards and two touchdowns.
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