Chicago Bears Can Not Be Super Bowl Contenders Until Offensive Line Improves

Matt Barbato@@Matt_BarbatoCorrespondent INovember 19, 2012

Is the J'Marcus Webb experiment coming to a close in Chicago?
Is the J'Marcus Webb experiment coming to a close in Chicago?Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

When the Chicago Bears traded for highly-skilled wide receiver Brandon Marshall in March, many believed that this move would put the Bears over the edge and turn them into a Super Bowl contender.  The Bears had finally found the weapon they had lacked for years.

But this move was only part of what the Bears needed to fix on the offensive side of the ball.

Granted, Marshall has been spectacular for the Bears this season and has reconnected nicely with his old Denver teammate, Jay Cutler. He is approaching the 1,000-yard mark for the season through only 10 games and leads the Bears with eight touchdowns.

But if the past Monday night game against San Francisco has shown us anything, it is that the Bears offensive line is not only their weakest link, but is the difference between a Super Bowl caliber team and just another good team in the NFC.

This is not to say that the Bears are untalented.

Chicago has a franchise quarterback in Cutler, an all-purpose running back in Matt Forte, a decent wide receiving core with Marshall and rookie Alshon Jeffery and arguably the best defense in the NFL.

But remember that weak link?

It isn't just the weakest link on the Bears, it is one of the weakest units in the league.

The Bears are one of the most talented teams in the league, especially on defense.  But their offense has struggled at times, even when Cutler was in the lineup, mainly because of their offensive line. 

Coming into Monday's game against the 49ers, Cutler had been sacked 28 times and hit 54 times by opposing defenders.

Another way to think of it?

According to Pro-Football Reference, Cutler has been sacked on 9.9 percent of his attempts. About one out of 10 times you can count on the Bears' quarterback getting sacked.

Then came the Monday Night debacle.  A 32-7 beating at the hands of the 49ers.

Back-up quarterback Jason Campbell didn't have a chance to succeed thanks to his porous offensive line. Campbell was sacked six times by the vaunted Niners defense and was hit an additional six times.

The Bears need to completely revamp their left side of the line and will probably have to start looking for a right tackle seeing that their first-round draft pick Gabe Carimi has been a great disappointment.

The problem is that it will be hard to find any viable replacements this late in the season. The Bears have to sleep in the bed they've made, and that could destroy any hope of a Super Bowl season.

Yes, the Bears got their wide receiver, but skill positions are meaningless if there is no one to block for them.

The Bears have a talented offense and an excellent defense, but they can not be considered title contenders unless they address the Migraines of the Midway down in the trenches.