Jason Smith picks Bears for SB
I was reading an article about the NFL's most indispensable players and this was Jason Smiths bit.
Who is the most indispensable player in the NFL today? - NFL.com
There are a lot of players who immediately make you say, "Well, he's the most indispensable, because if you take him away, that team would be awful." But you would've said that about Tom Brady, yet Matt Cassel came in and won 11 games when Brady went down for the 2008 season. Chris Johnson once fell in that category, but he had a down season last year and the Titans still won nine games, almost squeaking into the playoffs. So I think to really answer this question fairly you have to look at what's happened when an elite player has missed time -- how his team responded -- because the rest is just speculation. I'll give you three guys in that category, and my most indispensable is going to be a bit of a surprise.
First, Matthew Stafford. In his first fully healthy season, the Lions won 10 games and made the playoffs. He played in just 13 games over his first two NFL seasons and the Lions record was a combined 8-24 (and don't forget about that 0-16 back in '08). We saw how the Colts responded without Peyton Manning, going 2-14 with basically all the same weapons Manning has had at his disposal the last few years. It was embarrassing.
But you want to know which player is the most important to his team? It's Jay Cutler. Last season, the Bears were motoring toward a deep playoff run, having won five in a row after adjusting their offense. But then Cutler went down against the Chargers, and Chicago responded by losing its next five games. Had Cutler stayed healthy, I think the Bears would have at least made the NFC Championship Game -- which is where they were in 2010, Cutler's second year with the team. In fact, with a healthy Cutler this season, the Bears are my early pick to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.
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I think he's spot on Chi. Sox said it best when he posted that with Forte but without Cutler we may qualify for a top five pick but add Cutler and take away Forte and we'd still compete for a SB berth. That was very obvious last year. It was the loss of Cutler and unprepared QB without the experience to run a system like Martz runs that did us in.
Well Forte is still out (although it won't remain that way), we got rid of Martz and that worthless and hopelessly complex offense of his. We brought in a backup QB capable of being what a starter should be if Cutler does go down, we have an All-Pro WR in the mix, and we beefed up our RB spot with Bush and insured it by retaining Bell. We also have a TE that we can actually use to do more than just block and we've added passing threats in drafting Rodriguez and altering the way we'll use Hester.
This offense is soooooo much better off than it was a year ago that it's gonna be hard to believe we're looking at the same team.
The key is still Cutler and the line giving him the protection he needs to crank up his passing game. He has the weapons now and he's proven in the past that he knows how to find them and use them. Having Bates as a guiding hand will also add a tremendous boost. There's no question that a healthy Bears team should rank in the top group as far as SB favorites are concerned.
I'm getting to that age where a lifetime warranty just doesn't mean as much to me anymore as an afternoon nap. Honey Badger Don't Care. Honey Badger Don't Give a Shit.
It's way too early to predict a SB winner. In fact, I don't like how everyone has a good feeling about the upcoming season. I sure as hell want my Bears to go all the way but I prefer being a bit pessimistic. I haven't ordered my SB ticket yet, so let's be patient guys. And don't forget that "experts" are wrong most of the time. ^^
Anyway..... Go Bears!!!
With the offense we had last year, just imagine our offense if the outcome is what we expect. But as Little Bear said it's way to early, but jugde on the offense last year vs this year, we're a lot stronger. Atleast on paper.
I like the thought, but....I dunno. Too early for me, too.