These 2 will be lethal next season.
After a disappointing exit in the NFC Championship loss, Jay Cutler will have a career year to show critics, players, retired players and fans everywhere he didn't give up on his team.
He'll do it to show what would've happened had he stayed in for that second half he couldn't play.
Cutler can't wait to face the Green Bay Packers, twice in the regular season and possibly again in the postseason.
Cutler is dying to return to the NFC Championship and carry the Chicago Bears to the Super Bowl more than ever.
The Bears have the tools in all three phases of the game to get it done. Their defense and special teams units are among the best in the league.
Unfortunately, the new kickoff rules will hurt Devin Hester's potential impact on special teams.
Offense is the weakest link in Chicago. It's still solid with Matt Forte as a dual-threat tailback, but the Bears are at their best when Cutler plays well. They can use upgrades at wide receiver and along the offensive line, though.
The NFC North will be one of the toughest divisions in the NFL next season.
Fresh off a Super Bowl victory, the Packers are once again favorites in the NFC.
The Detroit Lions are improving as well. A healthy Matthew Stafford is bad news for both the Packers and Bears.
Many pick Detroit to finish above Chicago under the assumption that Stafford remains healthy.
Cutler wants to prove Chicago isn't the odd man out in the NFC North. Detroit and Stafford still have to prove their worth on the field.
Although Green Bay won the Super Bowl, they did it as a Wild-Card team. The Bears are the defending NFC North champions.
For a team that went 11-5 and just missed the Super Bowl, the Bears fly under the radar on a national scale. Cutler will do his best to have the kind of season that attracts more attention to his team.
Jay Cutler will enter the season with a chip on his shoulder because of last year's playoffs and people writing off the Bears this upcoming season. The focus that comes as a result of having that chip on the shoulder will result in Cutler throwing fewer interceptions.
Cutler reduced his INT total from 26 in 2009 to 16 in 2010.
The lockout won't help. It stops Cutler and the offense from digesting Mike Martz's system. Even so, the Bears should start out more comfortable with it than they were last season.
Cutler's favorite target and safety valve, Greg Olsen, is key to his success. As a team that lacks a true No. 1 receiver, the tight end is more important in the passing game. Ironically, Mike Martz doesn't utilize Olsen enough.
Olsen is clearly not happy about this. A Pro Bowl alternate in 2009, the tight end would garner consideration more often if he had a chance to make more plays.
He certainly has a QB capable of giving him the ball, something the Bears struggled with prior to Cutler's arrival.
However, Olsen will gladly put his dissatisfaction aside if the Bears reach the Super Bowl.
Jay Cutler might have a career year because he has no choice. If he goes on to have a mediocre season following what took place in the NFC Championship, Chicago might start calling for his head.
His biggest cheerleader will be Lovie Smith.
Even though he received a contract extension this offseason, it seems the head coach is always in jeopardy of losing his job. Whether or not he sees that whole contract through may depend on how Cutler performs in 2011.