BEAR DOWN in the Dumps

And so the hangover of defeat begins to dig deeper into our Bear-fan souls. After the debacle that went down on the field at Lambeau last night (final score 23-10), it’s not great to be a Bears fan this Friday. As the Bears sit 1-1 in the NFC, the question of – just HOW good are the Chicago Bears this year? –  lingers in the back of our minds. The season opener against the rookie quarterback Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts went so well, Chicago fans were riding a 4 day high thinking the Bears could make an early presence in the division and then we headed up to Green Bay and watched the Bears offensive confidence crumble into a million pieces of cheese.

Clay Matthews (who is undoubtedly one of the best linebackers to ever play the position) pillaged, ravaged, and destroyed the Chicago Bears offense – specifically left tackle J’Marcus Webb. Cutler was sacked 7 times (3.5 delivered personally from Matthews), finished with 11 completions on his 27 attempts and threw 4 interceptions. Those are some real bad stats.

Part of the problem was Cutler’s cocky trash talking throughout the week wishing the Packers defense “luck” – which came back to bite him right in the a&%…”Heard some talk out of the Bears: Packers secondary not working coverage, bigger receivers … we heard about it,” veteran safety Charles Woodson told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols after the game. “We understand that Jay is excited about his new weapons (referring to Brandon Marshall and rookie Alshon Jeffery), but it’s the same-old Jay. We don’t need luck; Jay will throw us the ball.” Lambeau field is like Jay Cutler’s kryptonite as a Chicago Bear.

It’s easy to place all the blame on Cutler for being a headcase during the Thursday night showdown on NFL network, BUT it all comes down to the Packers out playing the Bears. Chicago has some things to figure out:

  1. Cutler played REAL poorly, but he is not to blame for all the wrong doing. The offensive line needs to block for their quarterback. Linemen are enormous SOBs and they need to do the job they get paid handsomely for. Also, when the offense is having a tough time to begin with, how about we avoid all the false starts (cough cough Webb).
  2. The O-Line was horrendous, however, Cutler needs to learn how to get rid of the ball and not take a sack for a loss of yards. Quick-short passes can be your friend Cutty.
  3. Our much anticipated receivers need to do their job – catch passes. Brandon Marshall our talented addition to the offense cannot drop a catch-able pass in the end zone. Earl Bennett needs to come up on the ball, not drift back and get beat out by his defender resulting in a Jay Cutler interception.
  4. Where are Chicago’s trick plays? That sneaky faked field goal with the GB special teams was slick and not one person on the Bears saw it coming – perfectly executed. Last night Lovie Smith and his staff got out coached…once again.

In the aftermath ESPN published a story about Brian Urlacher and his views on the Bears this season, “maybe we’re not as good as we thought we were,” Urlacher said. “We’ve got a long ways to go, that’s obvious. Maybe Green Bay is just that good, I don’t know, we just didn’t play well. They played good enough to do what they did to us.”

I would agree with Urlacher, we have a long way to go just yet, but no need to pout it was only game two! Green Bay is a well oiled machine with great chemistry and we’ll get another shot at them later in the season. Hopefully Matt Forte’s game ending ankle sprain isn’t serious – fingers crossed. Shake it off, rest up, and let’s take care of St. Louis in game three.

FINALLY: Matt Forte and Bears agree to 4-year deal

HALLELUJAH! After some seriously prolonged contract negotiations, the Chicago Bears and their Pro Bowl running back Matt Forte have finally agreed to terms on a 4-year deal worth approximately $32 million reported ESPN Chicago. Of course the Bears cut things close with Forte as they had a 3 PM deadline on Monday to avoid any franchise tag nastiness.

Back in March the Bears slapped Forte with their franchise tag and secured the young star would be in a Chicago uniform for the 2012 season – it didn’t really go over too well as Forte was looking for the lucrative deal former GM Jerry Angelo had promised. The one-year agreement would have paid Forte $7.7 million for this season — a $7.1 million raise from his 2011 salary. In the end, the franchise tag ended up being a handy negotiating tool for the running back as he secured about $8 million a year.

Forte signing his contract at Halas Hall

Forte finished his fourth season with 1,487 yards from scrimmage and 997 rushing – he would have had even higher numbers had he not sprained his MCL in December of 2011. Forte is now healthy and making the big bucks, it’s time for him to produce his best numbers yet.

The NFC is one of the most competitive conferences in the entire NFL and Chicago needed to make some serious offensive adjustments to compete with the rivaled Green Bay Packera and Detroit Lions.

In the off season, the Bears picked up some more offensive weapons and a team who souly relied on their defense finally has some key players to produce points offensively. Now, if we can just tighten up that offensive line, we may really have something here.

Here are the keys to this season’s offense:

  • Quarterback – Jay Cutler
  • Running Back – Matt Forte with Michael Bush as backup.
  • Wide Receiver –  Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, Earl Bennett, Devin Hester
  • Tight End – Kellen Davis (Mike Tice, the new offensive coordinator has a tendency to utilize his tight ends – which Mike Martz didn’t ever do).
The ongoing “Pay Forte” drama has been put to rest and now it’s time to focus on the resurgence of “Da Bears” and making things rain in the Central division. Let’s go!