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Bears still striving for balance

The Chicago Bears are still striving for balance on offense in a variety of ways after an up-and-down performance against the Carolina Panthers in Week 8.


After an offseason of talk about how the new Chicago Bears offense was going to carry the team to success, it's an experienced defense that's once again taken the leading role. Part of that is due to a lack of balance in how the team is allocating opportunities on offense, as John Mullin writes for CSN Chicago.

Going beyond the basic desire to have success both through the run and the pass, something that eluded the Bears in the second half of their win over Carolina last Sunday, the team is also trying to do a better job of distributing the ball in general. Jay Cutler has made a habit of focusing on only Brandon Marshall during passing plays, as fans are surely aware.

Getting the ball into Matt Forte's hands when he's going good is a key part of Chicago's offense, but defenses have found ways to prevent Cutler from really distributing the ball, as coach Lovie Smith says:

"I think when you have a special player like [Forte], of course we need to get him the ball more. And we'll try that... But you can say that about a few of our players. We need to get them the ball more. But when you have an offensive day the way we did - three-and-outs, a couple of turnovers - you take a lot of plays away, where you can't get as many touches from some of your marquee players as you'd like."

This season, Marshall has caught 50 passes for 675 yards and four touchdowns, accounting for 37 percent of Cutler's targeted passes this season with 80. Meanwhile, Forte only has 95 carries and 18 catches, so the Bears are presumably interested in getting their star back going more frequently.