CHICAGO – Far from polished, the Chicago Bears played well enough to hand Marc Trestman a win in his debut.
Jay Cutler passed to Brandon Marshall for the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter, helping the Bears rally for a 24-21 victory over the sloppy Cincinnati Bengals today.
It wasn't quite the display the Bears were looking for after making some big changes in the offseason. But they made the most of a handful of big plays by Cutler and repeated mistakes by the Bengals.
Cutler threw for 242 yards. Marshall had 104 receiving, and the offense pulled it out in the end after struggling most of the way.
The Bengals led by 11 in the third quarter and were up 21-17 early in the fourth when Tim Jennings jarred the ball from Mohamed Sanu following a reception and made the recovery.
Chicago took over at its 19 and got an 8-yard run from Matt Forte on fourth-and-inches at the Bengals 27 to keep the drive going. Cutler then found Marshall in the front corner of the end zone for a 19-yard touchdown, giving Chicago a 24-21 lead with 7:58 remaining.
The Bears made big changes in the offseason, parting with star linebacker Brian Urlacher and hiring Trestman to replace the fired Lovie Smith with the idea that he could spark the offense and lead them to the playoffs after missing out five of the past six years.
Clearly, there's work to do. The offense seemed stuck most of the afternoon but came through in the end, with Cutler completing 21 of 33 passes. He also had two touchdowns to go with an interception.