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On The Bright Side: Chicago Bears

The Darkness

Sitting at 5-8, with playoffs hopes officially extinguished heading into week 15, there is darkness everywhere within the Bears organization. Quarterback Jay Cutler, head coach Marc Trestman, defensive coordinator Mel Tucker, and even general manager Phil Emery are all presumed to be on the hot seat as this season finishes out, with the quality of the finish greatly determining the severity of the seats’ temperatures.

Believe what you will, but Kevin Patra of NFL.com covers NFL insider Ian Rapoport reporting Sunday that per his sources Mel Tucker’s days in Chicago are numbered and the Bears organization is having a serious case of buyer’s remorse over the Jay Cutler contract extension, the meat of it being three years for $54 million guaranteed.

True or not, what’s obvious is the noise in and around Halas Hall is going to amp up here over the next several weeks, regardless of how the Bears finish out the season. Knowing that the Bears have underachieved in all three phases also makes things complicated, as simply firing Mel Tucker or other position coaches won’t necessarily solve all the issues plaguing the team. It seems at this point we should brace for either sweeping change, albeit unlikely, or a few hapless blame moves just to appease the masses.

On The Brightside

With all this season’s turmoil and disappointment, some praise must be given to tight end Martellus Bennett and running back Matt Forte. Both players are on pace for impressive seasons, with Bennett already breaking Mike Ditka’s tight end franchise record of 75 receptions now sitting at 77. Those 77 receptions also puts Bennett in elite company throughout the NFL, as that tally currently ranks first in the league and his 821 yards through 13 games puts him on pace to finish with over 1000 yards for the season.

Matt Forte is on pace to finish with over 1000 yards rushing and 106 receptions, which would shatter the current running back record of 101 receptions currently held by Larry Centers. With all the justifiable criticism thrown Marc Trestman’s way concerning the utilization of Forte in the offense, Forte managed to stay healthy and put up great numbers, which is no small feat for veteran running backs in today’s NFL.