Bears Dominate Rams in St. Louis

jeremy langford

The NFL proved once again it is the strangest and most unpredictable league in all of professional sports on Sunday.

The Packers lost to the bottom-feeding Detroit Lions for the first time in a quarter century at Lambeau. Peyton Manning got benched in favor of the inexperienced Brock Osweiler after throwing four interceptions against their division rival Kansas City Chiefs – in a game he passed Brett Favre as the NFL’s all-time leader in passing yards, mind you. The Ravens lost to the Jaguars due to a 15-yard face mask penalty as time expired, and Big Ben came off the bench for the Steelers and proceeded to throw all over a putrid Cleveland defense.

And, of course, the Bears absolutely dominated the Rams in St. Louis, improving to a surprising 4-5 record.

In what initially looked like it might be a field day for rookie sensation Todd Gurley – Gurley finished the day rushing for only 45 yards — the Bears came out and had by far their best performance of the 2015 season.

The biggest, and most pleasant, surprise in Sunday’s game was the stellar play of second-year running back Jeremy Langford. Langford had a career day – accruing 182 total yards and two touchdowns in relief of the injured Matt Forte.

Langford looked comfortable in his starting role, and the offensive line consistently opened up holes for him.

Consistent is probably the best word to describe the Bears outing Sunday. Cutler looked as good as he ever has in a Bears’ uniform, throwing for 258 yards and three touchdowns on 19/24 passing. Most importantly, he didn’t turn the ball over. And when Cutler doesn’t turn the ball over, the Bears have a pretty good chance of winning games.

The Bears dominated despite Forte’s absence and a poor showing from their two leading receivers, Alshon Jefferey and Martellus Bennett. The emergence of Zach Miller at tight end has been a huge boost for the Bears offense the last few games. Miller had his coming out party last Monday night against the Chargers when he made a spectacular one-handed catch for a touchdown at a pivotal time in the game.

Miller continued to produce Sunday and was the first Bear to get into the end zone Sunday, with an 87-yard catch and run for a touchdown in the first quarter. Cutler and Miller seem to have a pretty good rapport and hopefully he will remain a solid receiving option for the Bears going forward. Him and Langford each recorded over a hundred yards receiving against the Rams.

The Rams aren’t exactly an elite team in the NFL, so it’s not surprising the Bears beat them. But the way they beat them was shocking. The teams played pretty evenly the first quarter of the game, but after that it was all Bears.

For the second straight game, the Bears – and Cutler in particular – looked cool calm and collective. The Bears got the lead midway through the second quarter and never took their foot off the gas.

The Bears have a matchup with the 7-2 Denver Broncos next weekend, who are coming off an embarrassing loss to the Chiefs. Whether Peyton Manning was too injured to play Sunday or Gary Kubiak just decided it wasn’t his day, he will be back next week and will likely be determined to look like his old — or rather young — self.

But if they play the way they did on Sunday, the Bears will have a chance to beat a first-place Bronco’s team that’s vulnerable right now.