After watching the Chicago Bears' 23-6 victory over the St. Louis Rams, I was left with the feeling of Goldilocks and her porridge --despite what you might be thinking, this has nothing to do with Jay Cutler. I watched the Bears dismantle the Indianapolis Colts in Week 1, play god-awful football Week 2 against the Green Bay Packers, and then come to rest with a solid, though definitely not perfect, performance against the Rams.
The Rams may not be sitting atop anyone's power rankings, but the Bears did a lot of things pretty well. Jay Cutler's performance (17-31. 183 yards, one interception) still left something to be desired, but Brandon Marshall (five receptions, 71 yards) and Alshon Jeffery (five receptions, 45 yards) both showed some nice production, and Michael Bush (73 total yards, one touchdown) did a nice job of filling in for the injured Matt Forte. The insurance that the Bears hoped for when they signed Bush was confidently fulfilled in the game against the Rams. Forte is a special player, and the Bears are considerably more dangerous with him on the field, but it is nice to have to a player like Bush who can step in and adequately fill the position.
While the offense's overall production was lacking, if the Bears' defense plays the way they did, the Bears won't need to score many points --I still think they ultimately will begin to score at a consistent clip. All of the attention has been on the flourishing and subsequent failings of the Bears' offense. Quietly, the Bears' defense has been extremely tough. So far, they have given up 14 points to the Colts, 16 points to the Packers, and now six to the Rams --So as to avoid confusion, remember the Colts scored a defensive touchdown and the Packers scored on a fake field goal. I don't count those scores against the defense.
Being an offensive powerhouse may not be the moniker of the Rams, but they aren't total slouches either. The Bears' defense has looked stronger and stronger every week. What is direly important --even if they don't score as often as we fans would like-- is that the offense stays on the field long enough to keep the defense fresh. The Bears held the ball for over 33 minutes. Even though the Bears' offense only generated 16 points (defensive touchdown again), they held the ball long enough that the Bears had a fresh defense on most every Rams' possession. The results speak for themselves.
Every fan of the Bears wants to see the offense live up to the expectations we have for it, but even if it doesn't on the scoreboard, I think the combination of what we saw against the Rams will get the job done. Though, I suspect the offense will continue to get better and will settle into more of an identity. They might not score 35 points a game, but they'll be good enough to make the Bears a tough team to beat.
Brian is a lifelong Chicago Bears fan, having lived in Illinois his entire life and having followed the NFL throughout.
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