That is what Brian Urlacher was talking about, right?
When he thinks identity and he thinks Bears' football, 38 carries and 18 passes is what he has in mind, isn't it?
Never mind, temporarily, that they were not particularly good when it came to executing in today's 17-9 victory over the St. Louis Rams. The Bears (5-7) entered on a four-game losing streak and they had lost six of seven. They needed a victory any way they could get it, and a win over the hapless Rams (1-11) will qualify.
Coach Lovie Smith talked about Bear weather, the cliche that is this time of the year, and referenced needed to run the ball. For the first week of December, I'd venture to say it was about as nice as you can expect it to be on a newly re-sodded field. But the Bears wanted to get their running game going against St. Louis' lousy run defense. Matt Forte finished with 91 yards on 24 carries, lost a fumble and danced around near the goalline. Kahlil Bell had 35 yards on 11 carries, so the rookie was less effective in his first extended look. The Bears totaled 120 yards, averaging 3.2 yards per carry against a defense that was allowing opponents to gain 4.75 yards per carry.
Cutler pushed the ball downfield early in the game. He hit Devin Hester for a 48-yard gain on the first play of the second possession. Then a shot to Johnny Knox in the end zone drew a 35-yard pass interference penalty to set up Forte's one-yard touchdown run.
Move to the Bears' third drive and on the third play Cutler hit Earl Bennett coming across the deep middle and he raced for 71 yards. Cutler was at his best throwing the ball downfield. That's what has been amiss in this offense of late. That is what the Bears seemingly could have worked more on in a game against an inferior opponent.
"Part of it was the way our defense was playing,'' Cutler said. "We didn't feel like we had to make big plays or throw the ball down the field.''
The defense did a pretty decent job. It held the Rams to three Josh Brown field goals, and the Rams converted only 2-of-14 third downs. But they still had the ball on the Bears' side of the field with a chance to score a touchdown and two-point conversion in the final minute and force overtime. So as much as the Bears believed they were in control, St. Louis was two plays away from overtime at the end.
The Bears won the game playing like they did when they had their old identity. Don't they need to be playing to their new identity, though, the one they haven't quite found yet? Urlacher might needed to be reminded that the Bears aren't going to be winning a lot of games with defense this season. The defense isn't very good, and there were some faces missing today.
Now for 10 quick (and some random) reactions coming out of the game: