Chicago Bears 2011 Schedule: Will Tough Schedule Have Jay Culter Pouting Again?
Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears Face Tough Defenses Early and Late on the 2011 NFL Schedule
The feisty Jay Cutler nearly brought Chicago sports radio down in flames in January when his puzzling antics brought his very manhood into question.
The questions regarding Cutler's toughness will be the biggest focus when the Bears open the season against the Atlanta Falcons in Chicago on September 11.
Atlanta's defense figures to be vulnerable against the pass next season, but Chicago is still looking for a legitimate No. 1 receiver.
Barring a miracle, the Bears figure to enter next season with the same receiving corps fans have come to know in recent years.
Chicago's fate next season rests on the play of the offensive line, which figures to have a new look if Jerry Angelo elects to select a tackle in the 2011 NFL Draft.
The outcome of several key games could also determine Cutler's future in Chicago:
Packers at Bears, Week 3:
Green Bay almost never dominates Lovie Smith's defenses, but the presence of a running game could help the Packers run over the Bears. Look for Jay Cutler to come out firing and take plenty of chances down the field.
Bears at Eagles, Week 9:
Michael Vick goes up against Julius Peppers in a matchup of two of the most gifted athletes the NFL has ever seen. If Peppers comes to play, the Bears could pull a minor upset of sorts and take an early step in NFC playoff positioning.
Bears at Vikings, Week 17:
Life after Brett Favre begins with a muddled quarterback situation in Minnesota. Joe Webb isn't getting much of a shot to win the starting job, but by the final week of the season, the Vikings could plug in the smiling youngster to face the Bears.
Chicago's schedule features a number of trap games, including a trip to Denver in Week 14. Don't be surprised if the Bears need a win over the Vikings to make the playoffs.
It might not be pretty, but Lovie Smith should return to the postseason again in 2012. Just not the Super Bowl.
For the entire schedule, check out NFL.com
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