So far so good for Marc Trestman. After his Bears beat the Bengals 24-21 on Sunday, Trestman became only the fourth coach in franchise history to post a victory in his first game.
It wasn’t perfect. There was the obligatory “who was he throwing that to?” interception from Jay Cutler. The defense allowed too many big plays. Penalties hurt at times. In the end though, the Bears did just enough to protect home field and knock off a Cincinnati team that so many are high on.
Charles Tillman continues to give old guys a good name. The ageless wonder picked off two Andy Dalton passes. Robbie Gould proved he is just fine, nailing a 58 yard field goal just before the half. Great signs.
The offense sputtered at times, but when it mattered most Cutler and Brandon Marshall came through.
The Bengals led by 11 points in the third quarter and were still up by up 21-17 early in the fourth when Tim Jennings jarred the ball from Mohamed Sanu and made the recovery.
The Bears took advantage. Matt Forte converted on a fourth-and-inches play inside the Cincinnatti 30 and then the Monsters of the Midway hit pay dirt. Cutler found Marshall in the end zone to give Chicago a 24-21 lead that they would never relinquish.
The big story though is Trestman. He was brought in for his innovative offensive style. While, the Bears didn’t exactly set the world on fire in Week 1, you can see Trestman’s fingerprints on much of the approach. A play that was particularly huge came early during the winning drive.
On a third-and-three play from their own 26, the Bears didn’t go up the middle. They didn’t throw a short pass either. Instead, Cutler went deep connecting with Marshall on a 38 yard play. Not only did the Bears convert, but they were in business for a potential score that they ultimately cashed in on. That third down call screamed Trestman.
As a huge fan of Mike Ditka and Lovie Smith, I was sad to see both of them go. There is one huge difference in the two cases however. When Ditka left, the Bears brought in Dave Wannstedt. Doom from the start. Replacing a legend with a coach that is a coordinator at best is never a good idea. The blow of Smith’s exodus was softened because the Bears brought in the best possible replacement. A man with some innovation. A man with fresh ideas. There’s some juice there. His name is Marc Trestman. So far, so good. Let’s hope it continues.