Well, I for one am sick and tired of it. The only threat that the Bears pose to other teams is the connection between quarterback Jay Cutler and wide receiver Brandon Marshall. And quite frankly, it's embarrassing.
Don't get me wrong, Brandon Marshall is having an excellent season. He has caught 91 passes for 1182 yards and eight touchdowns. He has given Chicago a weapon at the wide receiver position that they have been missing for several years. But it's all they have. I would have thought that Marshall himself is pretty tired of carrying the team on his back. But that's what he has ended up doing.
Brandon Marshall has no one to compliment him. The next leading receiver for the Bears in terms of yards gained is Earl Bennett, and he has just 250 yards. Remember, Marshall has 1182!
Look at a team like the Atlanta Falcons. They are fortunate enough to have three very good receivers in Roddy White, Julio Jones and veteran tight end, Tony Gonzalez. But that Falcons manage to find a way to get all three involved in the passing games and their numbers reflect this. Jones has 58 catches, White has 68 and Gonzalez leads the team with 73. You see, if Jones is having a bad day, Roddy White can step up and be the man. Or Gonzalez can pop up one week and have a great game. They have a multi dimensional passing game that keeps opposing defenses on their toes.
Now, in terms of the Bears, are we to just accept that they don't have anyone close to the level of Marshall? What can we really expect them to do? Bennett is OK, but hasn't really been effective this year. The Devin Hester project remains a work in progress. Alshon Jeffery is a rookie, albeit one that looks like he could develop nicely. Tight end Kellen Davis is mediocre at best. And Matt Forte has pretty much found himself shut out of the passing game.
I am going to try and make this the last piece I write about the one-dimensional nature of the Bears passing game. But all teams have to do is work out an effective way to keep Marshall out of the game or limit his production, and the Bears offense becomes pretty impotent.
Chicago should also count themselves lucky that Marshall has been healthy all year. Injuries happen in the NFL every week, and if Marshall were to succumb to such a fate, I really don't see who could step up and fill the void.
Now, we all know how badly Cutler wanted to be reunited with Marshall, but their little affinity and affection for each other makes me feel a little queasy. I get the impression that each player thinks the other is the 'only one that truly understands them'. We're supposed to be so impressed when they demonstrate how much they are 'on the same page' Oh look, Cutler just recklessly threw the ball in the air, and Marshall went and made the catch! Wow, what a great offensive strategy,
The Bears cannot be happy with this situation. It's not hard to imagine them sitting round the meeting table saying: 'Well, it's pretty much all that we've got. Cutler throwing to Marshall seems to work, so let's just keep going with it'.
It has been pointed out to me many times that I should feel happy that a player with Marshall's ability is on the team. What is their to criticise about that? And I am grateful, but I just wish the team had other options. We're not a hard team to game plan for, and that worries me. You think Cutler and Marshall are going to be able to play their little pitch and catch game forever? What happens when the 'magic' runs out? Who do we turn to then? Matt Spaeth?