TORONTO --- Let the record show that not only did Chester Taylor score but he scored untouched. The thousands of Bears fans who came to Canada can say they witnessed history when Taylor scored from one-yard out in the third quarter to end a dubious streak.
Prior to that touchdown, the Bears had failed to score on 10 straight plays on goal-to-go from the 1.
"It's the best touchdown I ever had," Taylor said. "Going in on the left side, the offensive line did a great job and Brandon [Manumaleuna] did a great job kicking that guy out. All I had to do was walk in."
As impressive as it was, especially given the Bears' short-yardage woes this season, it wasn't the top accomplishment by the offensive line in Sunday's 22-19 win over the Bills at Rogers Centre.
The line, which was allowing four sacks per game coming in, allowed only one, albeit a costly one. Defensive end Spencer Johnson had a strip-sack on Cutler early in the fourth quarter to set up the touchdown that helped the Bills pull to within 19-14. It was Buffalo's only sack of the day, although the Bears will likely face a stiffer test against the Vikings last week.
The Bills entered the game tied with the Bears for 25th in the league with 11 sacks on the season.
"Pass protection-wise, without even looking at film, I'll say for sure it was," center Olin Kreutz said when asked if this was as well as the offensive line has played this season. "We could feel it coming in practice, guys understanding protections more, mostly understanding adjustments and the mistakes we made in the first seven games."
The line was bolstered by the return of veteran Roberto Garza, who recently recovered from arthroscopic knee surgery. Garza started at right guard, helping rookie seventh-round draft pick J'Marcus Webb identify alignments and pick up rushers.
"What it meant to have him back I couldn't even put into words," Kreutz said. "He helps me, he helps J'Marcus. He helps all of us."
Offensive coordinator Mike Martz was determined to run the ball more but had limited success as Matt Forte and Taylor combined for 62 yards on 24 carries for just a 2.6-yard average. Taylor also got stuffed on third-and-1 late in the game when a first down would've iced the game for the Bears.
"Hopefully the streak will go opposite," Forte said. "We got one. Now, hopefully we'll be 11 for 11."