Chicago Sun-Times

Lovie confident Bears' offense will be there eventually

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Jay Cutler vs. Titans (3).jpgThe Bears are flying high at 7-1, with the most dominant defense in the NFL. But with a second-half schedule that appears more difficult on paper, the offense remains a cause for concern because of slow starts and poor pass protection.

But coach Lovie Smith was confident the offense will carry its share of the load eventually.

''Right now we're talking an awful lot about our defense,'' Smith said at his Monday press conference at Halas Hall. ''But before this season is over -- hopefully this week -- it's going to shift, where we're going to be talking an awful lot about the weapons we have and the offensive plays that we're making.''

The Bears gained 358 yards in the 51-20 rout of the Tennessee Titans on Sunday at LP Field in Nashville. Jay Cutler threw three touchdown passes and had a 138.1 passer rating. Matt Forte rushed for 103 yards on 12 carries and added a 47-yard gain on a screen pass.

But most of the damage was done after the Bears had built a 21-2 lead in the first quarter. Until the Bears had the 19-point lead, Cutler was 1-for-4 for two yards. After that, he was 18-of-22 for 227 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions -- a 149.2 rating. And all of it was done against a defense that came in ranked 30th in the NFL in total defense.

Smith accentuated the positive -- at 7-1, that's his right. But even he knows the offense will have to improve in the second half.

''Matt Forte rushed for over 100 yards,'' Smith said. ''We had a great day running the football. Brandon Marshall had 3 touchdown [receptions]. Jay Cutler had over a 130 quarterback rating. A lot of good things we're doing offensively. We know there's a long ways to go still.''

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I think Chicago's offense can get better, the main problem is pass protection (J'Marcus Webb), players like tight end Matt Spaeth will have to continue to chip block away until Webb either steps up, or his eventual replacement is brought in next off-season. A left tackle that could come in and sustain blocks with any kind of consistency would go a long way for Chicago's passing game. Right now, with a receiver like Brandon Marshall and his size 6-3 plus, the Bears can go in max protection, leaving only one receiver (Marshall) for Cutler, and with Marshall's size, he can go up and get the ball a lot of the time. Getting rookie Alshon Jeffery back will also go a long way in improving Chicago's passing game.

Believe it or not, there is reason for optimism in Chicago's offensive line, namely right guard Lance Louis, you don't hear much about him, for an o-lineman thats a good thing. Louis has really come on this year, when you watch a game, watch the line and Louis, the guy stays on his blocks, also, if you notice a lot of the bigger run plays, you'll hear Louis name getting a big block to open the run lane up.

This weekends matchup isn't as bad as it appears for the Bears o-line. Yes, J.J Watts is leading the league in sacks. People will groan oh no Watts vs Webb, thats not the case. JJ Watts is a left defensive end in the Texans 3-4 scheme, that means he'll actaully be matched up vs the Bears best o-lineman right guard Lance Louis, Webb will be matched up vs right outside linebacker Connor Barwin and his 2 sacks. Can't wait GO BEARS!!

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This page contains a single entry by Mark Potash published on November 5, 2012 1:02 PM.

Jay Cutler demands more from the Bears' offense was the previous entry in this blog.

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