Yes, Brandon Marshall is in Chicago. Reunited with Jay Cutler and it feels so good! But the Bears need to keep Cutler off the turf if they want to get back into the playoffs and make a run at the Super Bowl.
The Bears signed oft-weird Brandon Marshall to give the passing attack a much-needed kick. Matt Forte will be around for another four years. The draft brought the likes of Alshon Jeffrey out of South Carolina, a big-time, playmaking wide receiver. They bolstered their secondary in the later rounds. It all looked great.
But, Bears fans! Here are some unsettling stats to ponder as you munch on those potato chips and watch NFL Live.
The Bears still need an offensive line that won't have to help Cutler off the ground every series. The Bears gave up 49 sacks last season, ranking them 5th worst in league -- tied with the Minnesota Vikings. And. while yes, the addition of Marshall and Jeffrey are nice and will definitely help a Bears offense that only put up 188 yards per game (good for 26th in the league), Cutler still needs to be up long enough to get the ball to them.
Whether the Bears pass or run first won't matter if Cutler is on the ground. Pass protection has a direct influence on stats like completion percentage (the Bears' was 56.7 percent - good for 25th) and interceptions (20 - good for t-26th) and passing touchdowns (18 - good for t-24th).
Save Cutler, save the Bears.