Chicago Bears: Is Brandon Marshall An MVP Candidate?

By Randy Holt

The offense of the Chicago Bears has been relatively disappointing so far this season. Coming into the 2012 season with expectations of becoming the most explosive unit in franchise history, they’ve been quite a letdown, fielding a very underwhelming group in the first half of the year. And that’s before Jay Cutler went down.

We’ve heard the names of Bears players thrown into the conversation for Most Valuable Player, with names like Charles Tillman and Lance Briggs working their way into that conversation. Whenever the discussion focuses on the Bears, it’s always about the defense. Just like it’s always been.

However, there has been one player on the offensive side of the ball that has been an absolute monster, regardless of the circumstances. That player is wide receiver Brandon Marshall.

Marshall was, of course, acquired to be the big receiver that Jay Cutler has lacked in his time in the Windy City. Most figured that reuniting the two would be a pretty good idea. But few could have seen it working out as well as it actually has, for Marshall in particular.

Prior to the Bears bringing Marshall in, he was a guy with a checkered past. Character and legal issues plagued him off the field, and it did raise some questions among the Bear faithful. We have yet to even hear a peep regarding an issue surrounding Brandon Marshall so far.

He’s been fantastic off the field. With Jay Cutler around, it’s certainly been a positive influence. Marshall has been a fantastic locker room presence for the team this year.

Perhaps even more impressive than what he has done off the field is what he has actually done on the gridiron this season. He’s already making his case as the best receiver in the history of the franchise. Of course, with a franchise like the Bears, the pickings are slim for that title.

Through just nine games, Marshall already has 67 receptions for over 900 yards and seven touchdowns. He’s on pace to eclipse nearly every one of his career highs in the receiving game. At this point, he could easily top Marcus Robinson‘s franchise record for receiving yards in a season, with 1,400, as well as the 100 receptions Marty Booker caught in 2001.

Marshall is a gamebreaker. He always has been. He’s a talent like this Bears team has never seen in their history. And given his performance, which has been dominant, in an often sputtering offense, he certainly should garner some attention for the Most Valuable Player Award.

Will he win it? No, mainly for two reasons. A. That’s an award usually reserved for quarterbacks in this day and age. And B. The award probably already belongs to Peyton Manning.

Nonetheless, I expect Brandon Marshall to get a bit of attention for the award before all is said and done. He’s been a revelation in the receiving corps, and has been an absolute joy to watch with the Chicago Bears thus far, both on and off the field.

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