Enemy Intel: Jags vs Bears
By Luke Sims
"Editor’s Note: Being a part of the Fansided Network, we have the opportunity to interact with the other NFL sites that can give us insight into their teams. Before each game we will be providing you with a quick questionnaire that the opposition’s site editor has provided us."
This week we had the opportunity to chat with Bear Goggles On editor Mike “Boomer” Burzawa, who took the time to answer five questions for us. Let’s get to the questions:
1) Jay Cutler is throwing more picks per dropback (5.1%) than he did during his horrendous 2009 (4.7%) season. So far the Bears have gotten away with it, but is this stopping the team from breaking into the elite at the top?
Wow, that’s an interesting stat and thanks for reminding me of that awful 2009 season. NOT! It’s early in the season and Cutler is just starting to hit his stride as he and new offensive coordinator Mike Tice find a good rhythm to see what works and what doesn’t. While Cutler is extremely physically gifted, he can fall apart when under pressure. If the offensive line comes together and gives Cutler some time, the sky’s the limit for him and the Bears offense.
2) If Cutler hadn’t been injured last year, I firmly believe the Bears could have pushed to the Super Bowl. Which pieces from last year are as good or better after four games in 2012?
Bears fans are still left wondering what could have been if he hadn’t broken his thumb with the Bears in the midst of a 5 game winning streak and an easy part of the schedule coming up. The offense from 2011 is actually improved in a couple of key areas. First of all, the Bears invested in Jason Campbell as backup quarterback in case Jay Cutler gets hurt. They also added Michael Bush to serve as backup running back to Matt Forte and also to help in short yardage and around the goal line. He’s already vultured a few TD’s.
The biggest change, though, is at the wide receiver position, where the Bears traded a pair of third rounders for enigmatic wide receiver Brandon Marshall and invested a second round pick Alshon Jeffery. Adding a couple of big bodied wide receivers makes Jay Cutler a lot more effective. The area that still needs help is the offensive line. The Bears, like a lot of other teams, have a big need at offensive tackle. J’Marcus Webb has been little more than a turnstyle and needs help in many passing situations. If the Bears can get that position figured out, the rest of the league needs to look out.
3) Matt Forte is coming back and should be effective. How crucial is the balance he provides? Is he worth the money this season?
While Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall get most of the headlines, Matt Forte is the engine that drives the Bears offense. He gets a ton of touches on the ground as well as in screens and on wheel routes. While the ankle has slowed him a step, he’s still a dangerous weapon for the Bears offense. Is he worth the money? Is any NFL player really worth the kind of money they pull in? Most of all, I’m happy he and the Bears reached an agreement and we don’t have to see the #PayForte hashtags for another season.
4) Tim Jennings is having a very good year at cornerback. Is there any room for opposing quarterbacks against him and the rest of the secondary?
Yes, Tim Jennings was just named September’s Defensive Player of the Month with his 4 INT’s and Peanut Tillman is coming off a Pro Bowl season but there still are plenty of opportunities against the Bears secondary. Safeties Chris Conte and Major Wright have been playing well but are still inexperienced and can be susceptible to play action. Jennings is playing big, but at barely 5’9″ he can face some mismatches at times.
5) What’s going to go down between the Jags and Bears? Will it be competitive?
Bears fans’ biggest concern about Sunday is the Bears looking past the Jaguars and ahead to their Week 6 BYE. This game should set up well for the Bears on paper. If they can limit MJD, Gabbert is not a big threat to go deep, so they should be able to hold Jacksonville in check. On the offensive side, they just need to hang onto the ball and avoid dumb turnovers and let Matt Forte and Michael Bush carry the load this week. I expect this game to be a little more competitive than most. Bears 23 – Jaguars 17