By Sean Jensen
Bears tight end Kellen Davis has played a lot of football in his life, but the 25-year-old had a memorable moment Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings.
With less than nine minutes remaining, with his team facing a third-and-inches from the Vikings' 19-yard line, quarterback Jay Cutler faked a handoff and tossed an easy touchdown to Davis.
"I've never been that open in my life. Not once," Davis said. "I mean, I've been pretty open but not like that.
"There was no one there."
Davis scored, untouched, and the Bears increased its lead to 27-13 over the Vikings.
But the play punctuated an effort in which the Bears spread the ball around and balanced both run and pass. Running backs Matt Forte and Chester Taylor combined for 32 carries for 102 yards, and Cutler completed passes to nine different receivers.
Johnny Knox led the way with five catches for 90 yards.
Cutler pointed to the comfort level of all of the players' within Mike Martz's offense, but he also noted that they are intentionally trying to get more players involved.
"We're creating some packages for some different guys," Cutler said. "I'm just trying to use everyone's talents as best as possible."
He offered receiver Rashied Davis as an example. Known mostly for his special teams play, Davis picked up 12 yards on a third-and-six in the fourth quarter.
"We're just creating some match ups," Cutler said. "That's what this whole game is about when you boil it down and Mike, he's the master at it."
Martz, though, has endured criticism throughout the season, particularly for the team's woes on third-and-short. Against the Green Bay Packers, Cutler and Desmond Clark couldn't convert a fourth-and-goal from the 1, even though the veteran tight end was wide open.
At one point, the Bears failed to convert 10 consecutive third-and-ones.
But on Sunday, the Bears converted 11 of 19 on third down, including two from 11 or more yards.
"I think the whole offense really stepped up," tight end Greg Olsen said. "You take out a couple of penalties, they didn't really stop us.
"Across the board, offensively, we took a step."
Later, Olsen said the Bears could have scored more than 27 points, noting his team didn't do better in the red zone.
The Bears scored on three-of-five possessions inside the 20.
"I think we're starting to be more dangerous, with our ability to run, with the offensive line really coming together and being able to pass protect," Cutler said.