Chicago Bears: 5 Offensive Players Key to a Playoff Berth

J.P. Scott@TheJPScottSenior Analyst IJune 15, 2012

Chicago Bears: 5 Offensive Players Key to a Playoff Berth

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    We know two things about the NFC North: There is a clear favorite (Green Bay), and there is a clear cellar-dweller (Minnesota).

    What that means for Chicago is that they'll need to compete with Detroit for a spot in the top half of the division.  If they can finish second, especially in a division like this, they should have a legitimate shot at a playoff berth.

    Because of the firepower Green Bay and Detroit possess, the Bears will have to score points, and lots of them, for this to be possible.

    Here are five offensive players who will need to play to their full potential if the Chicago Bears are to make a playoff run.

Brandon Marshall

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    Now that he is reunited with Cutler, Bears fans are going to expect the same production from the two that they had during their best years together in Denver.

    It has been a while since Chicago had a legit No. 1 wideout.  If he can show up every week and keep the baggage at home, it could be a magical season.

Gabe Carimi

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    After an injury ruined what looked like a promising start to his career, Carimi is back and ready to prove himself as one of the elite offensive tackles in the NFL.

    Added receiver depth will mean more emphasis on the passing game, putting extra pressure on Carimi to keep Cutler out of harm's way.

Alshon Jeffery

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    The last time we saw Jeffery play, he was being ejected for fighting in a bowl game.

    Jeffrey has a ton of potential and will need to make an immediate impact in order to help Marshall draw single coverage.

    His condition was a concern during the draft process.  If Jeffrey can show up ready to play, the Bears could have one of the league's most dangerous passing attacks.

Jay Cutler

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    No more excuses for Cutler.  He has all the necessary pieces around him now to take the Bears to the next level.  He just has to keep his composure and make sure he and his new weapons can mesh.

    Do this and Cutler can begin the process of getting his name back into the "elite" conversation.

Matt Forte

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    The league's best all-around running back returns from injury with something to prove, whether it's to the Bears or any other team interested in acquiring him in the future.

    Once again, the offense will rely heavily on his versatility.  However, the addition of two stud receivers should take some of the pressure off Forte to carry the entire load.