People are starting to recognize the 2010 Chicago Bears. The TV networks are getting it, flexing last week’s key matchup against Philly and the upcoming contest with the AFC-favorite Patriots. When the team starts seeing recognition, individual accolades will follow. That’s the case with two of the big name Bears, Julius Peppers and Jay Cutler.
Julius Peppers was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Month for November. He earns the honors after racking up 4 sacks (29 yards lost), a pass deflection that led to an interception, 13 tackles and 2 tackles for loss. Not a bad little month. With the Bears among the league leaders in defense, it’s only fitting that the player with the biggest impact on the team getting honored. The last Bear to be named NFC Defensive player of the month? Trace Armstrong back in 1990. Yes, 20 years ago. Frankly I’m really surprised Urlacher never had one during his tenure.
On the offensive side of the ball, Jay Cutler earned NFC Offensive Player of the Week following his 4 TD, zero INT, 146.2 passer rating game against the Philadelphia Eagles. At the start of the season, you would have thought Jay Cutler would be more a Player of the Weak or simply might not survive the season. Taking on a simplified Mike Martz playbook and a more balanced offensive attack has helped Jay and the offense flourish in recent weeks.
It’s nice for individual players to get some hardware as a reward for their accomplishments, but the most coveted hardware still awaits. Congrats to both Peppers and Cutler!