CHICAGO (AP) — Different surroundings, familiar results for Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall. And the Chicago Bears believe there is plenty more to come.
Cutler and Marshall looked sharp from the start, and the Bears beat Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins 33-31 in a preseason game on Saturday night.
"That combination is going for a lot of yards, a lot of catches, and hopefully a lot of touchdowns," Bears coach Lovie Smith said.
This was a good start.
In their first appearance together for the Bears (tied for 11th in the AP Pro32), Cutler and Marshall picked up where they left off when they starred together with the Denver Broncos. They connected on a 41-yard pass on Chicago's first play from scrimmage to set up the first of two first-quarter touchdown runs by Michael Bush, and the defense contained Griffin.
Making matters worse for the Redskins (No. 25), they lost Pro Bowl linebacker Brian Orakpo (shoulder) and safety Brandon Meriweather (knee) to injuries late in the first quarter.
The Bears pulled out the win on Robbie Gould's 57-yard field goal with 31 seconds left right after Washington's reserves gave the Redskins the lead.
Chicago racked up 262 yards in the first half after managing just 41 through the first two quarters of a preseason-opening loss to Denver, with their quarterback and Pro Bowl receiver getting off to a good start.
Held out last week following the birth of his son, Cutler threw for 122 yards and completed 7 of 13 passes before Jason Campbell took over midway through the second quarter. Marshall caught two passes for 61 yards and was targeted four times after making a brief cameo against the Broncos.
"I've got a few new pieces out there with Brandon and Bushy and some of those other guys, but a lot more intensity," said Cutler, who missed the final six games last year with a broken right thumb. "I thought the sense of urgency with our guys was a lot greater this game. We came out with a purpose, a little more of an attitude up front."
The Bears used most of their stars after they also sat Matt Forte and Julius Peppers in the preseason opener.
One notable exception — Brian Urlacher.
The Pro Bowl linebacker had an arthroscopic debridement procedure on his left knee Tuesday and he is expected to sit out the entire preseason. His status is a question mark even if his stated goal is to be ready for the regular-season opener against Indianapolis on Sept. 9.
Even with the Bears missing one of their key defensive players, Griffin had a rough time.
He played the first half, completing 5 of 8 passes for 49 yards. But he also got sacked three times and lost a fumble on one, leading to Bush's second touchdown, before Kirk Cousins took over.
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