It is too often becoming the elephant over there in the corner of the room that no one really wants to talk to. After all, the Bears are 7-1 and a very good football team, so if reporting some basic issues with the offense comes across as picking nit, it isnt meant to be.
But Jay Cutler on his weekly ESPN radio show Monday was blunt that as far as an offense, we still have a long way to go.
And Monday night in a chat with David Kaplan and Brian Noonan on WGN-AM 720s WGN Sports Night, the offense accounted for most of the talking and worrying points.
The reason this remains a significant issue is that the Bears have a potential championship team and that can be undone by a problem offense.
The Charles Tillman Experience in Nashville with Brian Urlacher and Corey Wootton supporting acts overshadowed how dismal the Bears were on offense too early and too often both Sunday and this season.
The final numbers were anything but dismal, and how much fault should be found with an offense whose quarterback had a 138.1 passer rating with zero interceptions; three running backs with a combined 213 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown; and a wide receiver with nine (of 10 targets) catches and 122 yards?
But Brian rightly wondered if there was really a weakness in the defense as it is playing now. My thought was that this defense is good enough to win a championship but the weakness of the 2012 Bears defense is the same one that threatens any defense:
If the offense cannot stay on the field, defenses eventually wear down.
35 minutes ofwhat exactly?
Brian noted that the Bears went 35 minutes (the entire second and third quarters and then some) against Tennessee without getting into the end zone. They reached the Tennessee 7- and 14-yard lines and had to settle for field goals at the end of drives for 76 and 73 yards. Impressive but
We stumbled a bit, Cutler acknowledged after the Titans game. In the red zone, we stumbled a bit down there, the turnover fumble at the Tennessee 14 was my fault and so on.
Those were chances missed against the Tennessee Titans. The Bears opened the game with possessions of three-and-out, four-and-out and a safety.
If the Bears give away those kinds of opportunities against the Houston Texans, among the elite defenses and offenses in the NFL, the Bears defense will never have a chance.
The consensus is that the offense will improve as the comfort levels of Cutler, Mike Tice and the rest settle. The Bears already have had their off week so it has to be done in real time, with an eye toward J.J. Watt and the Houston defense.
Even with the stumbles in Tennessee, I definitely think as the game went along we were playing good ball and had a good rhythm going toward the end of the game, coach Lovie Smith said.
Thats how it happened, too. Right now, were talking an awful lot about our defense, but before this season is over, hopefully this week, its going to shift where were going to be talking an awful lot about the weapons we have and the offensive plays that were makingWe know that theres a long ways to go still.
And in other news
You know how sometimes you just know you should have followed your first, gut instinct? That happened on Sunday.
Yes, a certain View from the Moon analyst chose to honor his preseason prediction that the Tennessee Titans would upset the Bears. That didnt happen.
Accountability is a good thing. I allowed that the Bears could very well go back home with a 7-1 record and should have stopped there. First miss on a Bears result this year, probably wont be the last, and Ill also probably reverse my preseason pix on the next two games.
More on that over the weekend.