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Recent posts by Dan Parr
Each week throughout the season we'll ask five questions of PFW publisher and Bears expert Hub Arkush to get his analysis on some of the top issues facing the team. This week, Hub says all the blame goes to Jay Cutler for his Week Seven performance and says no one should expect Roberto Garza's return from knee surgery to make a major difference on the offensive line.
1. How much of the blame should fall on Jay Cutler for his awful performance in Week Seven?
Arkush: All of it. It couldn't have been more clear that after his third-quarter fumble in the endzone, Cutler forgot anything and everything Mike Martz has tried to teach him and sacrificed his team in his effort to make up for the fumble.
2. Are there any significant changes Martz should make to the offense during the bye?
Arkush: He has to make the staples of his offense three-step drops and quick throws, screen passes and off-tackle runs. These are the only plays that have worked all year, so when is he going to build a game plan around them?
3. Roberto Garza is expected to return for Week Nine after missing the last two games recovering from knee surgery, and he's likely to start at right guard. How much of a difference can he make on an offensive line that hasn't played well?
Arkush: Depending on how much his struggles prior to the surgery were being caused by the knee, he's an upgrade but not a game changer. Garza's a serviceable guard getting up there in years, but he won't be a long-range answer.
4. Julius Peppers said after Sunday's game that sacks are overrated, but are you concerned with the lack of production from him in that category?
Arkush: Yes and no. For $40 million guaranteed, you want more than two sacks in seven games. But the Chicago Bears are second in the league in points allowed per game (16.3) because of Peppers and Brian Urlacher. Without Peppers, they'd be 22nd in that category.
5. Brad Maynard's numbers in terms of average and net average are down this season, and the Bears signed P Richmond McGee to the practice squad this week. Has Maynard, a longtime Bear, been punting poorly enough to justify a midseason change at the position?
Arkush: Absolutely not! Maynard is having an off year but will be paid for the full year, so there's no money to be saved, and putting an untested free agent out there in the hopes of picking up a couple yards a punt is nowhere near the risk of an untested free agent making a mistake that costs you a game. Punting isn't on the list of the Bears' five biggest problems.