Should I Have Woken up for Week One?

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Should I Have Woken up for Week One?
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Wow, what a way to start the season, huh?

And I thought watching preseason games was disappointing.

I have a buddy who lives in Denver, and after Jay Cutler threw his third interception of the first half, I texted him and said, "Can we have (Kyle) Orton back?"

Who would have thought any texts like that would have been sent out back when they announced the trade?

I hate to say it, but I think we would have won that game had Kyle Orton been our quarterback. The only throw that Orton might not have been able to make was the touchdown to Hester, but Hester was so wide open that I have to believe that Orton still might have made that play.

I know it's only one game and I'm not throwing in the towel yet. I believe that Green Bay is a fairly good team. I do not believe they are a Super Bowl contender like some "experts" are predicting, but they are definitely in the same class (maybe a tad bit higher) than this Bears team.

But it is a little frightening, with all the lead up to the start of the season—the new quarterback, the "underrated" receiving corps, Matt Forte's "emergence" as a star—that the Bears couldn't muster up anything better.

I liked the fact that the Bears threw the ball downfield, but did not like that it appeared that Cutler and his receivers were not anywhere near being on the same page.

I know these are wrinkles that we see during the early weeks, but they are not wrinkles that you tend to see from the better teams in the NFL. I am not saying they can't come back from this, but I'm just a little worried.  That's all.

Now, with Pittsburgh coming to town, I really don't know what to think. Sure, it helps that Troy Polamalu is going to be out, but will it help enough? Doubtful. I was hoping the Bears would pull out a victory against the Packers in Week One, eliminating the pressure on the team to not fall to 0-2.

Now, they have to come out and execute their offensive plans perfectly in order to have a chance to get to .500. Starting off 0-2 is not a death sentence in the NFL, but if Minnesota and Green Bay start off 2-0 (Green bay gets Cincinnati and Minnesota has Kansas City), it could be a steep hill to climb getting back into the division race, especially with a tougher-than-thought third game at Seattle.

What I would like to see the Bears get back to (against Pittsburgh) is getting the ball in Matt Forte's hands on the outside. Throw some screen passes, get him some extended handoff passes (where the quarterback and running back are moving right at the snap, rolling out to one side and Cutler would throw it to Forte almost right away with blockers ahead of him). Doing that will open up Olsen a little more in the middle of the field and also allow them to run the play action and throw the ball deep.

From Cutler, I would like to see a little more fluidity in his decision making. In his defense, we can never truly know if those interceptions were more on him throwing to the wrong spot or the receivers running the wrong routes.

I still believe he should have seen that nobody was in the area, but who really knows what is going on during the plays? If he can get into a rhythm with his receivers, find Olsen a little more, and get the ball to Forte on the outside, the Bears could put up some points on the Steelers' defense. 

With Polamalu out, Cutler should be able to take advantage of the middle of the field and also on some deep balls.

I liked how Knox looked on his two catches and think his and Hester's speed should be utilized on the field on the same plays. Let them both run go routes on each side of the field with Forte in the flat and Olsen hovering in the middle of the field about seven yards out—giving Cutler a decision to go deep to either Hester or Knox or check down to Olsen or Forte. Jay should feel a little more confident throwing the ball deep without the ballhawking of Polamalu.

It is going to be a tall task going up against the Super Bowl champions, but these are the games that we need to win to prove we are contenders and these games are the exact reason we brought in Jay Cutler. He needs to show the Chicago fans (and his teammates) that he is a true leader and winner.

The one thing I don't want to see from him is smiling on the sidelines after he throws his third interception of the first half. I did not take too well to that and believe that moment showed me everything I need to know about Cutler. I understand you can have confidence in your abilities, but he just doesn't show that the game truly matters to him yet. I hope he proves me wrong.

My prediction: Steelers 24, Bears 10.

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