"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, 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 the Bears' first play from scrimmage to set up the first of two first-quarter touchdown runs by Michael Bush, and the defense contained Griffin.
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.
"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."
One notable exception -- Brian Urlacher.
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.
"As far as my play went, we really never got into a rhythm, but I think everybody wanted to go back in the second half," Griffin said. "We didn't play bad, but we didn't play good, either."
Shanahan liked what he saw from the Heisman Trophy winner, particularly the way he handled himself.
"He is very poised," Shanahan said. "He is cool, calm, collected. He gets the guys going, composure, that's the sign of a good quarterback."
Cutler and Marshall were in sync from the start.
Marshall got behind Cedric Griffin, and Cutler hit him wide open and in stride on the right side. In one play, the Bears matched their yardage for the first half against Denver last week, and they didn't stop there.
Marshall also turned a short pass into a 20-yarder with a nice spin move on Meriweather, a former Bear, putting the ball on the 17. Bush ran it in from the 1 to give Chicago a 7-0 lead.
Things didn't get much better from there for Washington.
Orakpo was injured trying to make a lunging tackle on Hester following a catch, and missed. He eventually had his left shoulder -- which was operated on in the offseason -- wrapped on the sideline.
Then, after the Redskins took over on their 17, Griffin got sacked by Israel Idonije and lost the ball. Bush immediately plowed through the middle for an 8-yard TD that made it 14-0, while Meriweather was injured trying to make the tackle. He had to be helped off the field.
Hardin stayed on the turf for about 10 minutes as medical personnel tended to him before he was placed on a stretcher and taken away on a cart. He was moving his hands and gave the thumbs-up sign as he left the field.
Notes: Shanahan said Orakpo and Meriweather will go for MRIs, although he didn't specify when. .... Redskins LB London Fletcher sat out the game because he wasn't feeling well. Shanahan wouldn't say if that was because of an injury or illness. ... Bears S Chris Conte injured his right shoulder during the game, and punter Adam Podlesh sustained a hip pointer injury.
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press