Trailing 21-10 late in the third quarter, Cutler bolted out of the pocket and connected with tight end
On second-and-20 early in the fourth quarter, Cutler dashed up the middle for 18 yards. Two plays later, Forte gained eight yards around right end on fourth-and-one and Cutler followed by hitting
"The two plays that really resonate with me offensively were Jay's scramble, hitting Martellus for the big gain and then Jay scrambling," said coach Marc Trestman. "They were in a two-deep man under coverage. We had a throw on to Brandon and they covered it well. Jay found the lane and got us in position where we could make a first down."
|Jay Cutler found open space to run on Sunday and was able to set up two crucial late-game scoring drives. Click to view photos from the game.|
Cutler was happy to make plays with his legs, in part because it helped an offensive line that provided solid pass protection all game. Playing with four new starters, including rookies
"The line likes that. When I'm able to break the pocket and make some yardage and find somebody on the move, it takes some pressure off them," Cutler said. "You've got to give those guys up front a heck of a lot of credit for this victory."
Showing composure: Mills helped the Bears clinch the win by drawing a crucial 15-yard penalty against Bengals linebacker Rey Maualuga late in the game.
"It was grind time," Mills said. "We needed a first down to win the game. I got up to ‘58.' I was not letting him get off of me. I was blocking him until I heard the whistle blow. There was a little pushing and shoving after. He pushed me. As much as I wanted to hit him back, I had to keep my composure, and he got the flag and we won."
Trestman was impressed with the restraint that Mills showed.
"I think that says a lot," Trestman said. "We go through these special situations. In these types of games that's exactly what happens. The defense is looking for us to retaliate because they're trying to buy time and buy the penalty. I thought it was a great outcome, some real poise. Also, he had a couple of teammates around him who made sure that nothing came of it as well."
Successful debut: Trestman joined Hall of Famer George Halas (1920), Neill Armstrong (1978) and Dick Jauron (1999) as the only Bears head coaches to win their first game.
"I really don't tend to think about it," Trestman said. "It's a 60-minute game. I asked the guys to be great teammates today. That's all I asked of them is to go out there and be great teammates to each other. They didn't play 30 minutes; they played 60 minutes of football. I give them all credit.
"Sundays are for the players. Sunday is the players' day to celebrate the privilege of playing in the National Football League. I think they stood by that today."
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