Bears vs. Lions: Chicago needs balance, not just Brandon Marshall

USA TODAY Sports

Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall has put up big numbers this season, but the Chicago offense has been one-dimensional.

Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall has been having a career year, setting personal bests in receptions, yards and touchdowns with one game still to play in the regular season. But as CSN Chicago's John "Moon" Mullin writes, Marshall's success shows how one-dimensional the Bears' offense has been.

Mullin declared earlier in the season that if Marshall finished the year with 100 catches, the Bears' playoff chances would be in doubt, believing a heavy workload for the wide receiver would mean an unbalanced offense. As it turns out, he was right. The Bears are 9-6 and need a win and a Minnesota Vikings loss this weekend to claim the NFC's final Wild Card spot.

And if Marshall was getting that much of the offense, it quite likely meant that other receivers were not producing and, more important, the Bears had gotten away from Matt Forte, which they have, to no one's benefit.

Marshall has caught 113 passes for 1,466 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2012, topping his previous career highs of 102 catches for 1,325 yards in 2007 and 10 touchdowns in 2009. Marshall ranks second in the NFL in receptions and yards, and he is tied for third in touchdowns.

But as Mullin predicted, Marshall's success hasn't been reflected in the Bears' overall offensive production. Chicago is No. 28 in the league in total offense, averaging just 305.3 yards per game. The Bears are 29th in passing and ninth in rushing, averaging 183.6 and 121.7 yards per game, respectively.

With their slim playoff hopes on the line, the Bears travel to Detroit to face the Lions Sunday. Kickoff is set for noon CT, and the game will be televised on FOX.

Trending Discussions

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SB Nation Chicago

You must be a member of SB Nation Chicago to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Chicago. You should read them.

Join SB Nation Chicago

You must be a member of SB Nation Chicago to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Chicago. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.