The game could not have gotten off to a worse start for the Chicago Bears in the first quarter of their game against the St Louis Rams on Sunday.
After the first three minutes of the game, the Bears were faced with a 14-point deficit. On the opening possession of the game, Rams wide receiver Tavon Austin scored on a 65-yard reverse play for a touchdown. On the first play of the game for the Bears offense, a fumble by Bears running back Matt Forte was recovered by the Rams defense. The Rams offense converted on the turnover as St Louis running back Zac Stacy scored a touchdown on a 1-yard run.
This has always been the concern with Josh McCown as the Bears quarterback. McCown has yet to be put in a situation this season where he needed to lead the Bears back from a double-digit deficit. The 14-point deficit certainly will provide a test that McCown has yet to face this season.
McCown and the Bears offense managed to generate some success on team’s second possession of the game. On the drive, McCown wasn’t particularly accurate but was effective as the Bears offense was driving down the field. The drive concluded with McCown connecting with tight end Martellus Bennett on a 7-yard pass for a touchdown.
The Rams offense continued their success against the Bears on their third possession of the game. Like their first two possessions, the Rams ended their third possession with a touchdown. Rams quarterback Kellen Clemens connected with tight end Jared Cook for a 6-yard touchdown pass.
The Rams offense was having their way with the Bears defense. After the Rams first three offensive series, the team had a total of 123 rushing yards. Because of the Rams success running the ball, the Bears secondary was exposed when Clemens attempted to pass the ball.
At the end of the first quarter, the Bears trailed the Rams 21-to-7.
After the Bears offense stalled to begin the second quarter, the onus was once again on the team’s defense to attempt to stop the momentum of the Rams offense. That is what the Bears defense did as they managed to keep the Rams offense from adding more points on the scoreboard.
Chaos ensued on the next series of the game. On a second down play for the Bears, there were a total of three penalties on the play. All three penalties were against the Bears. The first penalty was a intentional grounding on McCown; the second was facemask on Tony Fiammetta; and the third was unsportsmanlike conduct on Kyle Long. That resulted in a third and 22 situation for the Bears offense. Prior to what would have been McCown’s first interception of the season, the Rams were flagged on the third down play for illegal contact. The flag gave the Bears an automatic first down.
After McCown connected with Bennett on a 37-yard pass that set the Bears up in a first and goal situation on the Rams 7-yard line, McCown connected with wide receiver Brandon Marshall on third down for a three-yard pass and catch that went for a touchdown. The touchdown brought the Bears to within a touchdown of the Rams.
Towards the end of the quarter, the Bears defense forced the Rams into kicking a field-goal.
That left the Bears offense with the ball and no timeouts remaining with a 1:11 remaining in the quarter. The Bears attempted to go into half with the 10-point deficit but the team couldn’t even do that right. As a questionable a third-down call saw McCown’s pass be deflected down with the clock stopping with 22 seconds remaining in the half. The Rams offense was unable to convert on the opportunity as the first half expired.
The Bears will get the ball first in the second half trailing 24-14.