Eager to get back on the field after their poor outing vs the Packers last Thursday, the Bears defense took out some frustration on Sam Bradford on the Rams Sunday.
The result – a rather easy, no-nonsense 23-6 victory at Soldier Field.
Major Wright came up with the 45-yard interception return for a touchdown, while Michael Bush added a 3-yard scoring run and Robbie Gould kicked three field goals for the Bears (2-1), who have won their last four meetings against the Rams.
“This was a bounce back game for us,” Bears coach Lovie Smith said. “We needed to come out strong. The defense really came out ready to play. Our defensive line has played outstanding ball all year and they set the tone today.”
Jay Cutler finished 17-of-31 passing for 183 yards with an interception for Chicago, which played without Matt Forte because of an ankle injury. Bush rushed for 55 yards on 18 carries, while Brandon Marshall added five catches for 71 yards.
Bradford struggled in the setback, completing just 18-of-35 passes for 152 yards with a pair of interceptions, as the Rams managed just 160 yards of total offense.
“We didn’t convert enough third downs to keep drives alive,” Rams coach Jeff Fisher admitted. “I’m proud of these guys, the way they fought today. We’re going to put this behind us and move on.”
Stephen Jackson carried the ball 11 times for 29 yards and Danny Amendola hauled in five passes for 66 yards for St. Louis (1-2), which has dropped 11 of its last 12 road games.
The Bears took advantage of a pair of mental mistakes by St. Louis to account for both of their scoring drives in the first half.
St. Louis forced the Bears to punt on their opening series, but a roughing the kicker penalty provided Chicago with a fresh set of downs. Cutler then found Marshall for three yards, but back-to-back incompletions forced the Bears to settle for a 54-yard field goal from Gould for a 3-0 lead.
After the teams exchanged punts in the early portion of the second stanza, the Chicago offense finally got things rolling as Cutler hit Kahlil Bell for 11 yards before Bell broke off an 18-yard run into St. Louis territory.
The drive stalled when Cutler’s 3rd-and-8 pass fell at the feet of Marshall, but the Bears were bailed out by a roughing the passer penalty.
Cutler then found Marshall for 13 yards to move Chicago into the red zone and on 3rd-and-8 went back to Marshall for 12 more yards down to the St. Louis 3.
After the two-minute warning, Bush punched it in from three yards out to finish off the 12-play, 81-yard scoring march.
Bradford then moved his squad into Chicago territory, setting up Greg Zuerlein’s 56-yard field goal to send the Rams into the break trailing, 10-3.
St. Louis turned the ball over on downs in Chicago territory to start the third, but quickly got the ball back after a Bears three-and-out.
Bradford and Jackson then put together a 10-play, 39-yard drive, resulting in a 46-yarder from Zuerlein to make it a 10-6 game.
Gould added a 22-yard field goal early in the fourth before Wright picked off Bradford on the ensuing drive to secure the victory.