On Saturday, I posted that the only reason to watch the Bears-Vikings game was to see the matchup between young left tackle Chris Williams and Minnesota's All-Pro defensive end, Jared Allen.
It's time to give Williams a tip of the cap. Allen was held without a sack and had only two tackles in the Bears' 36-30 overtime victory Monday night at Soldier Field. Bears quarterback Jay Cutler was sacked just twice the whole game. Given time to pass, Cutler showed why the Bears traded for him, completing 20 of 35 passes for 273 yards and four touchdowns. He was intercepted just once.
Cutler hit receiver Devin Aromashodu (pictured) with a 39-yard TD strike in overtime to end the game. Speaking of strong performances, how about Aromashodu? He had seven catches for 150 yards Monday night. This is a kid who barely saw the field the first 12 games of the season. The last three games, he has 17 receptions for 236 yards and two scores. Why didn't Lovie Smith get this guy in there sooner?
I hope this Bears win does not save Lovie Smith's job (but it probably will). The Bears had a 16-0 lead at the half. Then, Lovie's defense got torched for 30 points in the second half. Minnesota scored those 30 points on five straight possessions. Unacceptable defensive effort. This game never should have gone overtime.
But the positives were Cutler's play, the continued breakout performance of Aromashodu and a strong effort from Williams and the offensive line. No matter who the coach is next season, at least the Bears can say they have a quarterback, a wide receiver and a left tackle as building blocks. There's A LOT of work to be done before this team can be considered anything resembling a contender, but that's a start.