The Bears hit a rare NFL trifecta in their 51-20 rout of the Tennessee Titans on Sunday at LP Field in Nashville: They not only scored on offense, defense and special teams, but did so in the first 9:01 of the first quarter.
Scoring on all three phases is the ultimate complete game in football. But it was even better than that for the Bears on Sunday. Even their '4th Phase' made a contribution as Bears fans took over LP Field pretty much from the start. Once the Bears took a 28-2 lead in the first quarter, the fans' dominance of the stadium was hard to ignore.
''How could you not notice?'' defensive tackle Henry Melton said. ''It was louder at the end of the game on our end than it was the whole game on their end. Even when our offense was on the field, they were trying to get some crowd noise. It was louder at the end of the game for us. I heard a couple of 'Peanut' chants. It was exciting to see and be a part of.''
The Bears have had crowd support in road games before this season -- most noticeably at Cowboys Stadium when the Bears beat the Cowboys 34-18 on Oct. 1. But Bears fans took it to another level in Nashville.
''Today was like a home game,'' defensive end Israel Idonije said. ''The fans chanting, 'Go Bears.' We have the greatest fans in all of professional sports. The support, the way they travel. All our away games, we've had superior fan presence. The ability to take over a game and drown out the home-field advantage -- that's hard to find. The dedication of our fans is unparalleled.''
The Bears fans were so dominant toward the end of the game that Jay Cutler seemed to be motioning for them to pipe down when the Bears were in the red zone in the fourth quarter. Talk about a pleasant problem to have.
''We had Soldier Field South down here,'' coach Lovie Smith said. ''We knew it would be tough down here, but it's always easier when you have that many fans come out and support you. It seems like each [road] game we get more and more.''
''It felt good,'' defensive back Kelvin Hayden said, ''because you know the fans are behind us and they travel with us well. We just want to make it worth their while.''