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Consistency on offense essential for Bears

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Dan Parr

dparr@pfwmedia.com
Associate editor

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Posted Nov. 29, 2010 @ 5:04 p.m. ET
By Dan Parr

While the matchup between the Bears' defense and the Michael Vick-led Eagles' offense was emphasized heading into Sunday's game, it was Chicago's offense that looked most explosive, scoring a season-high 31 points.

QB Jay Cutler had one of his best performances as a Bear, throwing four touchdowns and zero interceptions, RB Matt Forté rushed for 117 yards and gained a season-high 8.4 yards per carry, and Chicago, which has won four in a row, sits alone atop the NFC North with an 8-3 record.

The Bears proved they could beat one of their top competitors in the NFC with the victory, but Cutler said he wasn't going to dwell on it.

"We have to keep going," he said. "We have to put this one behind us. The true test is consistency, especially in November and December. Whether it's in the red zone, third downs, turnovers, or winning ballgames. We just have to keep going."

The PFW Spin

It's not a surprise when the Bears' "D" gets the job done. The offense has been the unreliable weak link for Chicago, but it was balanced and highly productive against a good defense in Week 12, which is why optimism about the Bears' future shouldn't ring hollow today.

One of the questions that Cutler has been asked consistently is, how are things coming along in terms of getting comfortable with and having a full understanding of Mike Martz's offense? Earlier in the season, it looked like the offense was regressing, but since some consistency has been established on the offensive line — the same five have started each of the past four games — things have improved a bit (Cutler was still sacked four times by the Eagles).

"We're getting there," Cutler said when asked about the offense after the game. "We've got to get better in the fourth quarter. Got to get better in the four-minute drive … kind of grind out the clock a little bit. But we're definitely getting there. There are still some things that are happening that we have to clean up.

"You can just tell that we're young in the offense … we just haven't completely grasped it yet. But we're making enough big plays to overcome some stuff. Limiting our turnovers and limiting our penalties."

With one of the top-ranked defenses in the league and a sound collection of special-teams units, the Bears' offense doesn't necessarily need to have a full grasp of Martz's complex system this season in order to have success. They've proven that.

If Cutler continues to avoid the multiple-turnover clunkers that have set the Bears back in the past, this team should be in just about every game.

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