The Chicago Bears have completed the first eight games of the season and it's time to take a look at the team and grade each position group. There were high expectations for the Bears offense heading into the 2012 season with the addition of Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, the long term extension of Matt Forte and the addition of Michael Bush. The offense was expected to take a significant step forward this season with all the weapons at Jay Cutler's disposal, instead the Bears are struggling to find the expected chemistry and rhythm on offense that has raised some early season concern.
QB: Jay Cutler
I'm going to continue to be Jay Cutler's biggest critic, until he plays up to the level that was expected of him which is that of a Pro Bowl QB or at this point I'd take a Top-10 NFL QB. Cutler is having one of his worst seasons in a Chicago Bears uniform even with an improved offensive line and better receiving weapons around him. Matt Forte's production is slightly down over last year, but he is still among the top running backs in the NFL.
Cutler has his best friend in Brandon Marshall to throw to and yet the offense is struggling. There is plenty of blame to go around between Cutler's inadequacy and Mike Tice's lack of in game adjustments or a real consistent level of play calling. Cutler is struggling with his accuracy, his fundamentals, his yards his interceptions, his decision making you name you can see it on film.
Cutler struggled with a lethargic start against the Colts, and then imploded against the Packers. Four interceptions barely tell the tale of how bad Cutler was against Green Bay. He followed up that disaster with a weak effort against the Rams, his best effort of the season against the Cowboys followed by more mediocre play until showing subtle life late against the Panthers and late against the Titans. To sum up Cutler he's been horrible for 3/4 of the season and good for the other 1/4 with flashes of brilliance.
Going forward he has to play at a higher more consistent level and get more receivers involved in the offense. Kellen Davis is a weapon, no not the best weapon but a weapon nonetheless that can contribute to this offense. The return of Alshon Jeffery should help balance out the offense, so long as Cutler and Tice decide to target Jeffery more than 1/4 of the ratio they target Marshall.
The Bears are 7-1 in spite of Jay Cutler, but should start cruising towards home-field advantage because of Cutler. The defense is elite, but the offense has the ability to carry this team. The carrying of this team should start during the second half of the season.