Earlier in the week, as criticism of the Bears woeful pass protection reached a fever pitch, running back Matt Forte lobbied for more work in the Bears' offense. That's exactly what Chicago did today as they broke out for 34 points to get their second win of the season.
Forte carried the ball 25 times for a total of 205 rushing yards and a touchdown. He racked up more than 50 yards on the Bears' first drive of the game, a drive in which they did not pass the ball once. Cutler finished the day with just 17 pass attempts, completing nine of those for 102 yards and an interception. Even more of a relief for the Bears, Cutler was sacked just once.
The Bears also got a big contribution from Devin Hester. He returned a punt for a 69-yard touchdown in the second quarter. That score also put Hester in the record books with his 11th punt return touchdown, a new league record.
Ron Rivera's return to Soldier Field was hardly a total disappointment. Rookie quarterback Cam Newton passed for 374 yards, one touchdown and one interception. His interception was returned by D.J. Moore for a Bears' touchdown. Newton hit Steve Smith for 8 receptions and 181 yards. The rookie quarterback also added two rushing touchdowns to round out his performance.
Chicago travels to Detroit next week for a touch matchup against an undefeated Lions team that erased a 24-point deficit today with two pick sixes on Tony Romo. Carolina, now 1-3, returns home for a game against the New Orleans Saints.