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Bears impressive, but let's not get carried away

Once Jay Cutler and the Bears' passing game got past their 1-for-10 start, they were good in yesterday's 41-21 victory over Indianapolis, sure.

To hear some of the praise from the past 30 hours, you'd think the Bears had hung 50 points and 500 yards on the 2001 Ravens. Let's not get carried away here. They scored five touchdowns and two field goals gained 428 yards, went 4-for-12 on third downs, punted five times and turned the ball over once. That's a very good offensive day. It's not an unheard-of one.

And remember who they played. The Colts ranked 28th in the league in points allowed in 2011 (26.9 per game) and 25th in yards allowed (370.9 per game). They didn't force turnovers; their eight interceptions tied for the lowest total in the league. Since then, they've taken 4-3 personnel and forced it into a new 3-4 scheme. To make matters worse, arguably their best defensive player, and definitely their biggest defensive name (Dwight Freeney), didn't make it through a quarter before leaving with an ankle injury.

There were encouraging signs, even with the qualifier that it came against the Colts. One is that Cutler found Brandon Marshall nine times in 15 targets — even though the Colts were giving safety help on Marshall almost every play that they weren't straight doubling him. Michael Bush's two touchdowns offer hope that the Bears' goal-line incompetence is a thing of the past. The offensive line wasn't as great as some are making it out to have been ... but it could certainly have been worse.

I understand that the kind of offense we saw yesterday isn't something Bears fans are exactly used to. But that kind of offense is what this year's team is supposed to produce. I'm not saying they're good for 41 points per game, but against the Colts, it shouldn't be a shock that that's what they put up. And with a defense that isn't likely to dominate the way some Bears units have in the past, the offense will have to be that if they're going to go somewhere.


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