Hey guys! Man was that vacation great! In fact, I have to say the only thing bad about it was Ben sending me daily texts threatening to cut my balls off if I didn’t come back to work soon. He’s such a sweet talker! Anyway, let’s talk about the Bears!
Six Flags could make a ride out of the Chicago Bears 2011 season. In the beginning of the season, they looked overmatched on defense and sporadic on offense. Towards the middle of the season, they were clicking on all cylinders, winning five straight games and establishing themselves firmly in playoff contention. And then, in the span of two games, they lost their best offensive weapons, and everything went downhill. They finished the season 1-5, ending the year at 8-8 and leaving all of their fans to wonder what could have been.
The good news is that the team was looking good enough in the middle of the season that they can bank on having success barring further injuries. The bad news is Matt Forte still isn’t locked into a big deal, the offensive line still needs help, and the defense is getting older and older every day. Also, the Packers are still great, the Lions are getting even better, and the Vikings might not suck that much this year (haha that’s probably a lie!). In any case, Chicago fan will probably have a lot to complain about, which is good for them because they sure do love complaining! This is the Chicago Bears 2011 Retrospective.
Team Highlight: This has to be the 37-13 lambasting they put on up and comers Detroit in Week 10. Despite scoring only one offensive touchdown, the Bears hammered the Lions with a strong defensive and special teams effort. Two of Matt Stafford’s interceptions were returned for TDs, and the defense also forced 2 fumbles for a total of 6 turnovers. More important than the actual game was the message it sent to the Lions: you might be the new story in our division, but we’re still the 2nd best team here. Of course, that was before they shit the bed to end the year, but we didn’t know that then!
Team Lowlight: I’m going to cover more than one game and focus on 3 games in the 5 game losing streak. Against the Chiefs, Seahawks, and Broncos, three of the lesser teams in the NFL (because by this point we’ve sufficiently discounted the Broncos as a playoff team), the Bears averaged 9 points and 215 yards of offense. This clearly was a result of losing both Jay Cutler and Matt Forte, but what made it worse is that the Bears gave up 38 points to the Seahawks, 21 of it to their fairly weak offense. It was up to the defense to support the injured offense, and they weren’t able to do it.
Team MVP: I almost want to split this between Forte and Cutler, but Forte’s usage rate in the first 12 games shows he was clearly the workhorse. Before being injured, he led the league in yards from scrimmage. He was part of the reason Cutler was enjoying a good year before his own injury. If the Bears are going to make the playoffs again, much of it depends on Forte.
Needs: Besides signing Forte long-term, they also need some offensive line help, as well as tight end and receiver upgrades. Someone like Mario Manningham or, better yet, Vincent Jackson would help solidify the Bears receiving corps. They also need a real playmaker in the secondary. They have Briggs and Urlacher at LB, Peppers at DE, but no one in the secondary who can consistently make big plays.
What’s in a Bears Fan’s Liquor Cabinet: Cheap whiskey and a shot glass. Whiskey shots are the equivalent of the Bears’ season. The first few hurt going down, and you have to fight the initial urge to gag. But after a few, they start going down easy, and everything is fun and awesome! But then it all catches up with you and you end up like this girl.
Straight Cash Homey Meter:
I think it makes perfect sense. A team that needs a receiver that is otherwise productive on offense, a good quarterback, Mike Tice as offensive coordinator; I can definitely see Moss fitting in well here. Obviously if the Bears land Jackson, Manningham, or Colston they won’t need him, but he could still be worth a look. And if nothing else, he’ll do better than Roy Williams.
Entirely Too Early Prediction for 2012: 10-6. I don’t think the Bears schedule looks too intimidating, and with their stars back on offense, they will probably be able to battle for 2nd place in the division. I don’t think they’ll catch the Packers, but I do think they’ll do pretty well.
Join us tomorrow when Chris takes on everyone’s favorite Purple team, the Vikings!