Long rangers: Bears thump Rams, 37-13

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ST. LOUIS — The blitzer came, and Jay Cutler was happy. He dumped off the screen pass to Jeremy Langford, the perfect call Sunday against rushing Rams.

After the Bears quarterback threw the ball, he looked down to check on tackle Kyle Long, who had fallen at his feet. Long said he was fine, and Cutler looked back up.

The play, amazingly, was still alive.

“He was gone,” Cutler said. “And then I said to Kyle, ‘We’ve got to get up and go.’”

Jeremy Langford’s 83-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter of Sunday’s 37-13 victory wasn’t even the Bears’ longest of the half.

That came on their first possession, when tight end Zach Miller caught an out route, cut inside and outran everyone on the field.

In 95 years of Bears football, no quarterback had ever thrown two touchdowns of 80 or more yards in the same game. Until Sunday, when the Bears thumped the NFL’s fifth-best defense, who had given up only two plays of more than 35 yards all season.

The plays were so long, you could hold conversations during them.

“You know things are going well,” said Cutler, who was 19-for-24 for 258 yards, “when you get some of those easy ones.”

The two long touchdowns will lead every highlight package, but the Bears thoroughly dismantled the Rams, who now share their 4-5 record on the periphery of the wild card chase.

After allowing yet another first-drive touchdown, the Bears’ defense allowed two field goals — and one was after Marc Mariani’s fumbled punt in the red zone.

Playing without defensive MVP Pernell McPhee, who stayed back home with a knee injury, the Bears held Nick Foles to a passer rating of 53, Todd Gurley to 45 rushing yards and even sniffed out a fourth-quarter fake punt.

“The whole team is growing,” coach John Fox said.

The Bears had won three of their previous five games before Sunday, all decided in the final seconds. Their aggregate score during that span was a tie.

And then came Sunday’s thumping — fueled “more than anything,” center Matt Slauson said, by a week spent listening to plaudits about the the Rams defense. There was chirping on Sunday, too, after the Rams’ pregame introductions made it impossible for Cutler to play catch on the field.

Langford and Miller finished with two scores apiece. The rookie, starting for Matt Forte for the second-straight week, ran for a six-yard score as the victory cigar with 3:14 remaining.

Miller caught a two-yard play-action touchdown in the second quarter after the Bears extended the drive by converting on fourth-and-1, third-and-1 and a roughing the passer penalty after a failed third down. They took a 17-10 lead and never relinquished it.

“When you line up across from us, you got to show it, prove to us who you are,” said receiver Alshon Jeffery, slowed by a groin injury, who managed three catches for 23 yards and blocked beautifully on the play that sprung Miller. “No matter what the statistics say, any given day, anybody can beaten.”

Follow me on Twitter @patrickfinley

Email: pfinley@suntimes.com

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