The Chicago Bears are a maddening team in that quarterback Jay Cutler has been consistently inconsistent up to this point of the regular season while the team languishes at 4-5. If any of you watched Fox NFL Sunday this past weekend, then you probably saw and listened to the critique of Bears general manager Jerry Angelo and Cutler.
In case you missed it, here’s a recap. Terry Bradshaw said that a couple defensive players get in Cutler’s face, much like Bradshaw’s former team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, used to do to him on occasion. Jimmy Johnson put his two cents in, saying that Cutler should be compared to Rex Grossman, not Tom Brady. Gee, no kidding Jimmy. Meanwhile, former New York Giants great Michael Strahan went even further, stating that Angelo should take some responsibility for the Bears’ current state of affairs.
But regardless on who the true blame rests on, the Bears have to face a tough final seven games of the regular season. Here’s a look at what they’re up against:
Sunday vs. Philadelphia Eagles
The Bears win if: The defense kicks it up a notch against Donovan McNabb, as they did last season when the Bears pulled out a 24-20 win. McNabb will probably put up some decent numbers; howeer, they need to keep the Eagles out of the red zone as much as possible.
The Bears lose if: Cutler has another of those outings resembling his 5 interception effort; interestingly, Cutler has thrown 11 INT’s in three night games this season. Eat your carrots, Jay.
November 29 at Minnesota
The Bears win if: Brett Favre has another epiphany and abruptly retires and Adrian Peterson plays like his namesake in Chicago.
The Bears lose if: Favre has the kind of success he has had this season and AP has the numbers he usually enjoys while playing under a dome. Let’s not forget the key to the Vikings defense: Jared Allen. Dude’s a beast.
December 6 vs. St. Louis Rams
The Bears win if: They simply score points – it’s that simple. Keep in mind that the Bears defeated two soft teams on their schedule (Cleveland and Detroit) by averaging 39 points/game. The Rams should join these two.
The Bears lose if: Kurt Warner leaves Arizona, Torry Holt bolts Jacksonville and Marshall leaves the broadcasting booth and suits up. But since that’s not going to happen, this should be a cakewalk for Chicago.
December 13 vs. Green Bay Packers
The Bears win if: The weather should be cold then, so a running attack will work to their advantage. In other words, use Matt Forte early and often. The defense should be able to harrass Aaron Rodgers, with a fair degree of success.
The Bears lose if: The “Bad Cutler” throws picks. The Packers have success against Bears tight end Greg Olsen.
December 20 vs. Baltimore Ravens
The Bears win if: They get to Joe Flacco. The Ravens’ QB has been rather mediocre as of late as he has thrown 5 picks in the Ravens’ four losses prior to Sunday.
The Bears lose if: Ray Lewis and Ed Reed play like several years ago when the Ravens’ D was the rave of the league. Of course, that is predicated on Cutler having a decent effort. So basically, which Ravens defense shows up and which version of Cutler shows up?
December 28 vs. Minnesota
The Bears win if: The Vikings lock up home field advantage throughout the playoffs, which means they will rest some starters.
The Bears lose if: The Vikings are fighting for the #1 seed in the playoffs; if that’s the case, the Bears are certain to get a beatdown.
January 3 vs. Detroit
The Bears win if: They learned a lesson when they let the Lions hang around in their last two contests. Their last game agaisnt the Lions (a 34-7 win last season) should be clser to the end result.
The Bears lose if: They’re distracted, due to free agency and other football-related matters. Futures are at stake, after all.