Just when everyone was a little concerned over the Chicago Bears’ two game slide, the team won in domination fashion (28-10) over the Minnesota Vikings Sunday night. However, it can be argued that the Chicago Bears haven’t played like one of best teams in NFL this season. They gave been good, but not really great. In eight of their wins, the Chicago Bears have shown potential worthy of a true playoffs contending team. But in their other three losses to elite teams this season, the Chicago Bears have looked miserably overwhelmed.
Sunday’s game was again evidence that the Chicago Bears offense rides on the shoulders of starting quarterback Jay Cutler. The 29-year-old Jay Cutler was passing with a high accuracy and fitting a lot of throws into tight coverage, but the Chicago Bears offensive line didn’t seem equally on par. A Number of times, Jay Cutler was forced to make quick throws while running away from opposing defenders after the pocket collapsed.
Hence, even Jay Cutler can’t fix the on-edge Chicago Bears offense if the offensive line isn’t on the same page. The Chicago Bears offensive line took another huge blow following Sunday’s game when guard Lance Louis went down following a nasty brutal hit by Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen. It will be a new predicament for the Chicago Bears offensive line if they are forced to start inexperienced players to fill-in for the injured lot. For starters, the Chicago Bears offensive line is arguably the weakest in the NFL.
Five other Chicago Bears players were also injured during Sunday’s game, most prominently running back Matt Forte, cornerback Charles Tillman and wide receiver Devin Hester. The seriousness of Matt Forte and Devin Hester’s injuries has not been revealed yet, but the Chicago Bears were saved a lot of trouble on the defensive side of the ball since Charles Tillman’s injury hasn’t been listed as that serious.
Both Matt Forte and Devin Hester’s injuries could take their toll on the Chicago Bears offensive line. With Matt Forte sidelines, the Chicago Bears would lack an explosive player who plays a vital role in moving the ball against strong opposing defenses. That aspect of the game has already been a key issue for the Chicago Bears throughout the season.
The Chicago Bears’ struggle against elite defenses and lack of inclusion among the NFL’s best offenses are in a retrospect the reasons holding them back from becoming a great team in the 2012 season.
More importantly, the Chicago Bears have predominantly racked in the winnable games and are yet to defeat the elite teams in the NFL.
As for their eight wins so far, only the Indianapolis Colts and Minnesota Vikings in the category didn’t hold losing records this season.
In short, it comes down to the Chicago Bears stepping up their performance as of now, by defeating playoffs caliber team so that they can win against them again during the playoffs.
However, the above concerns about the Chicago Bears’ 2012 season don’t highlight the Chicago Bears’ lack of success for a playoffs run, it merely based on observations of their performance through the first 11 games of the season. There’s no doubt that the Chicago Bears boast talent that could take them into the playoffs. The question is can they play up to their maximum potential down the stretch?