Chicago Bears' Offense Stil Lacks a True Number One Receiver

Brett SoleskyCorrespondent ISeptember 30, 2009

CHICAGO - SEPTEMBER 20: Johnny Knox #13 of the Chicago Bears runs for a first down after a catch against the Pittsburgh Steelers on September 20, 2009 at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Steelers 17-14. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

What?  Who in the hell can make a statement like that?  Why would you make a statement like that?  Simple it's an easy fact that there is still no true number one wide receiver on the Bears.  Not Devin Hester, Johnny Knox, Earl Bennett nor Greg Olsen.  The truth is not one of them has grabbed a strangle hold on the number one receiver position, and I don't think either one of them will anytime soon.  Through the first three games not one of them has had over 100-yards nor has one of them been counted on to be THE go to guy in critical situations, two clear indications that none of them is a number one receiver. 

So why am I comfortable in making such a bold statement?  Because the fact of the matter is ALL OF THESE receivers are number one receivers in their own rights.  At one time or another each one of them has had a big game or made a clutch catch or has been counted on during last minute scoring drives to put this team in position to win two games.  All four of them have contributed to making this team highly effective in the passing.  They give Jay Cutler a plethora of options and nicely balance out the Bears' passing attack. 

Truth can be seen in how effective Cutler has been over the last 10 quarters of football.  Cutler is completing nearly 72-percent of his passes during that time frame and is completing passes all over the field.  Whether it's been deep throws, screens, slants, looking for the soft spots in zones or catching the ball in traffic the Bears' receivers have been remarkably better than last year. 

While everyone has been looking for that go to guy, and harping about who is going to be the man, Cutler has shown confidence in going to any of these four receivers at any time.  They have only solidified themselves as an option Cutler can go to at any point in the game and not worry whether or not they'll make the catch. 

The Bears are balanced out by the emergence of fifth round draft choice Johnny Knox who had two big games to start the season against Green Bay and Pittsburgh.  Knox caught only one ball against the Seahawks but it was for a seven yard touchdown.  Earl Bennett had four receptions for 80-yards while Devin Hester chipped in with 78 on four receptions and the game winning touchdown. 

Even TE Greg Olsen had his best game in the Seahawks game catching five passes for 44 yards and a touchdown.  Olsen made more than his fair share of first down catches in the game to help keep drives alive. 

This level of success is kind of unprecedented in Chicago.  The Bears usually have one at best two receivers who can make catches in critical situations.  At times they have had no receivers at all to contribute to the team.  Now however it appears with Cutler at the controls and these receivers catching everything coming their way the Bears are quietly opening up the offense via the pass. 

No longer is this a team that gets off the bus running, no the Bears are trusting Cutler and his receivers are responding to his leadership.  Nearly three weeks in a row Cutler has led the Bears on late scoring drives to win games.  Only the Packers game fell short of what likely would have been three major scoring drives to win games. 

With this level of success in critical situations the Bears can be rest assured they will never be completely out of a game so long as the defense can continue to improve.  These receivers are quietly establishing themselves as a complete unit and with their youth could come together to form one of the best receiving units in Chicago Bears history.