Cutler takes Lions' best shot

"It definitely scared us when he went down," Marshall said. "He's tough, man. I was fortunate enough to get drafted with him in 2006. Being around him, that's what I see on a daily basis, how tough he is."

Early in the second half, Cutler failed to get the ball in the end zone despite taking over on the Lions' 27. But three points was enough for the Bears after Cutler had led them to 10 in the first half.

Cutler was as dangerous with his feet as his arm, running three times for 34 yards.

"The line opened up some lanes for me and gave me some opportunities to try to take off," Cutler said. "I tried to take advantage of them."

On the Bears' first possession of the game, the Bears faced a third-and-8, and Cutler was under pressure from Kyle Vanden Bosch. Cutler stepped up and escaped, running 11 yards for the first down. On the next play, he avoided a big loss by sprinting away from Cliff Avril in the backfield. He still took a sack, one of five on the day, but he didn't lose any yards.

Cutler finished the drive by faking a handoff, and then running a bootleg right. He held the ball until defenders were drawn to him, then he found Marshall for a 7-yard touchdown.

That's good quarterbacking.

One of Cutler's finest moments may wind up being overlooked. On third-and-11 from the Bears' 1 in the second half, Cutler completed a pass to Marshall for 18 yards. If Cutler doesn't make that play, a good chance exists the Lions would have scored on the ensuing drive.

There were other highlights for Cutler.

On a 24-yard first-quarter scramble, Cutler looked like he was doing a tribute to the great Lion Barry Sanders, trying to put a move on cornerback Jonte Green. He wasn't quite Sanders, but Cutler showed some loose hips for a 6-foot-3 quarterback.

Those hips — and some other body parts — might not feel quite as loose Tuesday morning.

Cutler, we can be reasonably certain, will fight through it.

dpompei@tribune.com

Twitter @danpompei

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