Tim Jennings gets my game ball.
Bears coach Lovie Smith said he put the backup cornerback in the game for Zack Bowman because he wasn't satisfied with that position early in the game. I can only assume he was talking about Bowman failing to tackle James Jones in the open field in the first quarter. It came on a third-and-12 late in the quarter when defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli had called an all-out blitz. Bowman whiffed on the tackle, forcing Danieal Manning to push Jones out of bounds after an eight-yard gain.
Jennings had two other big hits on Donald Driver later in the game and may warrant more playing time moving forward.
"I didn't know at all," Jennings said when asked if he knew he would play as much as he did. "That's one thing that surprised me. Coach told me to be ready and the next play threw me in there. This isn't my first rodeo. I played a lot at Indy. But this is a great team and I just wanted to be out there playing with some of the best guys in the league at linebacker and secondary and defensive line."
Of course, the game turning play came when Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs tackled Jones near the sideline, forced a fumble that somehow stayed in bounds. Jennings recovered to set up the Bears' game-winning drive.
When Jennings spoke after the game he was under the assumption that it was Briggs and not Urlacher who forced the fumble.
"I told Lance, "That was all you,'" he said. "I appreciate that. I love him. It just happened to bounce my way and I was able to stay in bounds and recover it, but that was all Lance."
Jennings finished with seven tackles, behind only Urlacher's and Briggs' nine.