Consistent Bears? It doesn't add up yet

September 16, 2012|By Jack M Silverstein | For RedEye

Two days before the Bears pooped themselves on national TV, a reporter at Halas Hall told Jay Cutler that if he targeted Brandon Marshall as many times per game as he did in Week 1, he would throw to Marshall 240 times. Could he do such a thing?

Cutler wasn't sure. But he knew he completed nine of those passes, and that seemed feasible. "What's 9 times 16?" Cutler asked the media. Silence. And more silence. Not one person could answer the question. I myself multiplied 16 by 10 in my head and then subtracted 9, and then I decided that was inaccurate and I had done something wrong.

"Not a bunch of math majors," Cutler said, and everyone laughed, but I was troubled, because how was it possible that this pack of educated adults could not complete a simple equation?

I felt pretty much the same way watching the Bears offense Thursday. How could this team that pummeled the Colts for 428 yards and 41 points prove so inept against the Packers?

It started with the offensive line, the men charged with blocking Clay Matthews, the unblockable man. Matthews roughed up J'Marcus Webb and the Bears O-line to the tune of 3.5 sacks, and his teammates bagged an additional 3.5 sacks, meaning Cutler has been sacked 119 times in 43 games as a Bear.

Speaking of things that should never happen, former Bears running back Cedric Benson outgained current Bears running back Matt Forte 116-80 in total yards, while Marshall produced less on two catches than Packers backup tight end Tom Crabtree produced on one, a 27-yard touchdown on a brilliant fake field goal that made my jaw drop and my heart sag.

This game also gave us key drops from Marshall, Lance Briggs and Devin Hester, Cutler's second-lowest passer rating EVER, eight penalties and zero trips to the red zone.

Add it all up and you get a 1-1 Bears team that's down a tiebreaker to the Packers. I'm no math major, but that's not good.

Special contributor Jack M Silverstein covers the Bears for RedEye. Say hey @ReadJack.


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