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BEARS NOTES: Jennings, defense have Cutler’s back in win

Published: Monday, Sept. 16, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT
(H. Rick Bamman -
Bears cornerback Tim Jennings leaps into the end zone for a second-quarter touchdown Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday of the Bears' 31-30 victory at Soldier Field.

CHICAGO – Christian Ponder had thrown to the same side too many times in the first half, and eventually it cost him.

Tim Jennings’ interception, which he returned for a touchdown, came four plays after Jay Cutler threw an interception in the endzone. And it epitomized the back-and-forth affair that ended in a 31-30 Bears win on Sunday.

“After [Ponder] made a couple completions on my side, I knew, alright, let me focus in,” Jennings said after the game. “I played a little bit slower and realized he was going to give me an opportunity and I was able to make a play.”

Avoiding Charles Tillman at all costs, Ponder threw Jennings’ way several times. Jennings also had a diving pass defensed in the third quarter.

“You don’t want [to be targeted often] as a DB, but you’ve got to roll with the punches,” Jennings said about his busy day. “You really don’t want to go [to Tillman’s] side, so I guess I’m the last option.

“That just gives me a whole lot of opportunities, and I was able to go out there and make a play and put us in position to win the game.”

The interception-return touchdown was yet another example of the defense helping out the offense.

“Mel [Tucker] tells me before every game, ‘Hey, we got your back.’ They do,” said Cutler. “Whenever it comes time for the defense to make a stop or defense to get a turnover, they do. On the pick in the endzone, they turned around and got a pick six.”

Waiting for pressure: The defensive line again failed to make much of an impact.

The Bears finished with one sack (Corey Wootton, and it went for zero yards) and only one quarterback hit. Julius Peppers had one tackle.

Dealing with Allen: Jared Allen had one sack on Sunday, but it led to a Cutler fumble, which Brian Robison scooped up and raced 61 yards for a Vikings touchdown.

It was the first sack the Bears have allowed this season, but the only one on Sunday.

He did induce two holding penalties on Jermon Bushrod, though one was declined.

Injury update: Safety Major Wright tweeted that he was fine after having to leave the game in the second quarter to be evaluated for a concussion, but he later returned. … Martellus Bennett injured his shoulder going for a catch in the second quarter. It took him some time to get off the field, but it didn’t seem to affect his production, especially on the final drive. “I’m in a lot of pain right now, but it is what it is,” he said. “You’ve got to go back in there and finish up.”

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