The Chicago Bears took the main stage in the NFL on NBC's Sunday Night Football and emerged victorious over the stumbling Pittsburgh Steelers, 40-23.
The Bears are now 3-0 and sitting atop the NFC North standings.
Michael C. Wright on ESPN Chicago notes that past 3-0 starts for the Bears have led to some great things at season's end: The Bears captured division titles in each of the last three seasons they started 3-0, dating back to 1991, while also winning at least 11 regular-season contests in those years. The last two times the club started 3-0, it advanced to the Super Bowl (2006) and the NFC Championship (2010).
Chris Collinsworth praised Jay Cutler's toughness in this game, drawing attention to a Cutler scramble and run in which the Cutler — sometimes maligned for not being tough enough — put his head down and drilled a Steelers safety, knocking the defender right on his keester.
The Bears forced five turnovers. Earl Bennett scored a touchdown on a remarkable catch in the end zone which was initially ruled out of bounds. For a time in the second half, the Steelers looked like they might climb back into the game. But the Bears defense wouldn't let that happen, and Julius Peppers put a cap on the game with a fumble recovery and runback for a touchdown in the final minutes.
Coach Marc Trestman joins George Halas and Neill Armstrong as the only Bears coaches to start their careers with three straight victories.
How would you grade this Bears primetime performance?