Bears linebacker Lance Briggs is not going to blame the offense for wasting another outstanding season by the defense. Not yet, anyway.
After the defense scored seven touchdowns to fuel the Bears' 7-1 first half, the offense has had to carry the scoring load in the second half. The Bears have averaged 14.2 points in losing five of six games. They've scored six, seven, 17, 14 and 13 points in the five losses.
With key players like Briggs, Brian Urlacher. Julius Peppers and Charles Tillman getting late in their NFL careers, are they starting to feel frustrated that the offense hasn't carried its share of the load?
Every time that question has been asked at Halas Hall in the Lovie Smith era, it is shot down with an almost perfunctory pledge of support for the offense. But not this time.
''I don't know,'' Briggs said. ''I think that's a question you'll have to ask me at the end of the year -- depending on how far we end up going this year. If we win these next two games and get in the playoffs and make a run in the playoffs ... that question is hard to answer right now.''
Briggs responded a little more to the point when asked earlier in his press conference Thursday at Halas Hall about avoiding the frustration because the offense has continued to struggle this season.
''We don't have time to be frustrated,'' he said. ''We don't have time to be concerned about the things that have happened already. Our biggest concern right now is beating Arizona. We've lost two in a row. Our postseason, it's all on the line right now. Right now our concern is to go out and get this win.''