The aging Chicago Bears defense has carried the team about as far as they can carry them. It’s time for Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall to shoulder the burden and drag this battered, bruised and aged team across the finish line. The defense did their part for the first eight weeks, leading the Bears to a 7-1 record and putting them at the doorstep of the NFL playoffs. With the defense banged up and expecting to be without their leader Brian Urlacher for the rest of the regular season, Jay Cutler must kick that playoff door in and lead the Bears into the postseason party.
The entire preseason, heck since Phil Emery pulled off the Brandon Marshall trade, we’ve been talking about the offense carrying the torch. We all knew that the defense was on their last legs, but thanks to career years from cornerbacks Tim Jennings and Defensive Player of the Year candidate Charles Tillman the Bears defense kept the ship afloat while the offense struggled to get their legs under them.
Problems along the offensive line, a sub-par season from #paidForte, a non-existent tight end position, injuries and a new offensive coordinator have all contributed to a slow (and I’m being kind here) start for the offense. Now the Bears are heading into the 4th quarter of the season and they hopefully have figured out all the glitches and worked out all the bugs to carry this team into the postseason.
In case you missed it, Jay Cutler has been the league’s top passer in the 4th quarter. Now it’s his time to be the best passer in the league in the 4th quarter of the season. Last season Jay disappeared with a broken thumb. In 2010, he disappeared from the NFC Championship game with a knee injury. This season, these last four games, he can get redemption and silence all his critics once and for all.
If the Bears defense hadn’t died of exhaustion in overtime against the Seahawks, that last Bears game would have been known as the “Cutler to Marshall” game. Now, for all we know, it could be know as Urlacher’s last game or the Russell Wilson game.
The Bears are beat up pretty badly as they start the final quarter of the season. They’ll head into the Vikings game without Brian Urlacher and most likely without Tim Jennings and Earl Bennett. The hope is that Devin Hester and Alshon Jeffery could return to bolster the receiving corps. Injuries have forced the Bears to re-shuffle their offensive line. Dare I say they’ve been decent the last couple of weeks? It’ll be interesting to see how they perform on the road in the noisy Metrodome (or whatever they call it).
Jerry Angelo mortgaged the Bears’ future on a franchise quarterback back in 2009 when he sent two first round draft picks, a third rounder and Kyle Orton for Jay Cutler and a pick that turned out to be Johnny Knox. Now Jerry can just sit back and watch to see if his vision can come to fruition, to see if Jay is really the quarterback to take the Bears back to the promised land.
What do you think? Can Jay lead the Bears to the playoffs this season? Can he lead them on another deep run or will they be a one-and-done if they get to the postseason? Let’s hear your comments.