Cornerback Kyle Fuller led an opportunistic Bears defense Sunday at Soldier Field, recording one interception and six pass breakups in a 20-3 win over the Cleveland Browns.
“It’s as good a game by a corner as I’ve seen since I’ve been here,” said coach John Fox. “My hat’s off to him because last year was a very frustrating year, especially for him being injured.”
Fuller helped contain Browns star receiver Josh Gordon, who was limited to two catches for 19 yards on a game-high eight targets.
“He’s a guy that is at the top of the list every week as far as opponent video, as far as time and hours spent on it,” Fox said. “It was no different this week. He had a good understanding of his matchup and some of their splits and routes and whatnot. You only do that with a lot of preparation and real pros do that.”
Fuller registered his second interception of the season when he picked off a deep DeShone Kizer pass intended for Gordon in the end zone late in the first half with the Bears leading 6-0.
“I knew it would be a double move and they would take a shot to put it in the end zone,” Fuller said. “That was cool, just capitalizing on that opportunity.”
Line changes: With Kyle Long on injured reserve and fellow guards Josh Sitton (ankle) and Tom Compton (concussion) inactive Sunday, the Bears started Bradley Sowell at left guard, Hroniss Grasu at center and Cody Whitehair at right guard.
When Bobby Massie was forced to exit briefly Sunday with a knee injury early in the second half, Sowell moved to right tackle and Cameron Lee entered the game at left guard.
“I’m proud of the way they battled and how nobody blinks,” said quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. “When one guy goes down, the next guy is prepared to step in and believes in the guys next to us and just go out there and execute the plays. They did a great job today.”
Let it snow: Bears players enjoyed playing Sunday’s game in snowy conditions.
“I’m from Texas and my parents are from Nigeria, so heat is my thing,” said outside linebacker Sam Acho. “But crazy enough you get a chance to play in games like these when it’s snowing and it’s cold. You’re like, ‘Man, this is what people dream of.’ To be able to play in the NFL, at Soldier Field, in Chicago, in the snow, get a win, it’s what you dream of. You’re cold for a little bit, but the joy outlasts the physical ailments.”
“It was fun to play in the snow,” Trubisky said. “I took my glove off early because [the ball] slipped out of my hand. It was just better in the snow to go with bare hands. Hroniss did a great job of the snaps under center and shotgun and that’s a crucial part of the game.”
Fox felt that Bears players did a good job dealing with the conditions Sunday, saying: “Our guys are used to the elements. I like to think we are weather proof that way. Tony Medlin, our equipment guy, does a great job as far as footwear and getting the guys equipped right and I thought we handled it pretty well today.”
Record setter: With 193 yards Sunday against the Browns, Trubisky broke Kyle Orton’s team record for passing yards by a rookie with 2,015.
“It’s not really about individual stats to me,” Trubisky said. “It’s about improving myself, getting better each day. I wouldn’t be able to have that [record] without my teammates. Great job to my o-line up front, receivers catching the ball and just me doing my job. I don’t feel that I did anything special. Just continuing to get better each week and learn from my mistakes.”
How sweep it is: With Sunday’s win, the Bears swept the AFC North just like they did the last time they faced the division in 2013. This season they beat the Steelers 23-17 in overtime, the Ravens 27-24 in overtime, the Bengals 33-7 and the Browns 20-3.
“I wish we could figure that out with every division, including ours,” Fox said. “I think it’s just preparation and being able to execute and we just happen to do that both on the road against those opponents and at home.”