It has been pretty obvious that the offense of the Chicago Bears is highly dependent on the chemistry between quarterback Jay Cutler and wide receiver Brandon Marshall. These two started their good on-field connection when they were teammates for the Denver Broncos. Personally, I felt that this would be one of the best quarterback-receiver tandems in the league this year, but I didn’t think that the receiving numbers would be so lopsided for the Bears’ offense.
Through the first 13 weeks of the 2012 season, Marshall has 91 receptions, 1,182 receiving yards, eight touchdowns, and 57 of his receptions have gone for first downs. The rest of Chicago’s wide receivers have combined for 60 catches, 686 yards, four touchdowns, and just 37 first downs.
With the final quarter of the regular season on the horizon, the Bears are currently fifth in the NFC with an 8-4 record, and are second in their division. Three of the last four games for the Bears are against NFC North teams, and are very crucial.
I believe that Chicago still have a good chance at making the postseason, however, in order for that to happen, someone in the Bears’ receiving corps, besides Marshall, has to prove to Cutler that he can rely on them in the passing game.
Not only do receivers Devin Hester, Earl Bennett, and rookie Alshon Jeffery have to prove their dependability, Cutler actually have to give them the opportunity. Out of the 246 times that Cutler has targeted wide receivers this season, 56 percent of those throws were intended for Marshall.
Some say that a solid defense and a productive running game are key to making a long postseason run. This is true, but in the case for the Bears, having a consistent number-two receiver will take their offense to another level, and will greatly improve their chances of winning out the remainder of the regular season and making a push for a championship.
Follow me on Twitter @ClydeASpeller