I’ve gone back and forth on this, as one alert reader was quick to point out last week, but I’m not sure if this year’s Bears should even bother trying to be a team that gets off the bus running.
After seven games, I don’t think they have what it takes to be a team that can establish the run on a regular basis – maybe not at all. This looks like a team that may have to throw the ball effectively to set up the run, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It seems to work pretty well for the Colts and the Patriots.
Not that Jay Cutler is yet in the same class as Peyton Manning or Tom Brady, but the Bears clearly have a better chance of moving the ball in the air than on the ground, especially behind the current offensive line. But even with a mediocre O-line, Cutler has put up decent numbers.
Matt Forte has struggled mightily behind the same group, averaging better than 4.0 yards in just one of seven games. Maybe, with a little protection, Cutler can make enough plays throwing the ball to soften up defenses for Forte to run effectively enough to keep opponents honest.
I still don’t think the Bears should abandon trying to run, but if this offense is to succeed, it’s going to have to be with Cutler as the focal point.