Bears poised to make playoff run

Bryer Lehr, IVLeader Staff Columnist

It’s almost that time of year, folks. With high school and college football already under way, football fanatics are only waiting on the NFL to complete their weekends. Well, if you’re a Chicago Bears fan then you should be in for a treat. The wrath of Caleb Hanie is now over and last year’s collapse seems like it was years ago.
If you take a look at last year’s team, there is no reason Bears fans shouldn’t be optimistic. The team was 7-3 and was fresh off an impressive win over the Chargers and an absolute demolition of the division rival Lions. Jay Cutler looked like the franchise quarterback we had all hoped for since the trade that brought him to Chicago in April 2009. Matt Forte was in the discussion for being the best running back in the NFL. Even the aging defense was still playing at an elite level. A broken thumb and a knee injury later, the Bears found themselves sitting at home with an 8-8 record.
Aside from some Brian Urlacher knee scares, the team is healthy again and most of the question marks from last year’s team have been answered. Cutler is now reunited with a perennial Pro Bowler and one of his best friends in wide receiver Brandon Marshall.
Rookie Alshon Jeffery should be another effective receiver for Cutler to use, which should free up Devin Hester and Earl Bennett to be more effective options to make plays. Veteran quarterback Jason Campbell has been a starter most of his career and fills the need of a reliable backup. The Bears even signed Michael Bush to be an effective second option to Forte.
The only thing that seems to be in doubt at the moment offensively is the play of the line, which is overblown most of the time. Yes, Cutler has spent a lot of time on the ground during his time in Chicago. However, you must factor in that Mike Martz isn’t trying to get him killed anymore and that Cutler was injured by trying to make a tackle not by being sacked.
And the defense?  Assuming Urlacher is healthy, the defense should still be able to do what it has done for years now.
The Bears have been primarily a defensive team for decades now, but with the offense looks like it is ready to carry some weight and it could be a very special season. So get comfortable and get your popcorn ready because Sept. 9 is almost here at last.