Brandon Marshall Will Need Help from Bears' Supporting Cast to Defeat Packers

Dante MilesContributor IIDecember 13, 2012

When the Chicago Bears acquired Brandon Marshall during the offseason, many saw it as a move that solved two problems at once.

Marshall’s arrival finally gave quarterback Jay Cutler the No. 1 receiver he has lacked since his stint in Chicago began. Also, the attention Marshall attracts was expected to give the other receivers a chance to make plays.

With three games left in the season, only one of these scenarios has played out as planned.

The Cutler-Marshall combo has picked up where it left off in Denver, with Marshall on pace to obliterate the Bears' receiving record book en route to his fourth 100-catch season.

But while Marshall has stepped in and performed, the same cannot be said for the rest of the Bears' receiving corps. 

The “Hester Package” that offensive coordinator Mike Tice raved about during the offseason has been non-existent, as Hester has only managed 23 receptions. Tight end Kellen Davis seems useless at times, managing only 17 catches in 41 targets. Alshon Jeffery has shown flashes but has been hampered by injuries all season.

Cutler’s former favorite target Earl Bennett, who has battled injuries as well, hasn’t been his sure-handed self as of late.

The shortcomings of this group have been especially evident during the Bears' current two-game slide. Earl Bennett dropped a wide-open touchdown pass in the overtime loss to Seattle, and both Devin Hester and Alshon Jeffrey dropped game-changing passes during the 21-14 loss to the Vikings.

With such low productivity from the rest of the receiving corps, Cutler has been forced to lean on Marshall too often. Marshall is the second most targeted receiver in the NFL with 158 targets. The closest person on the Bears roster is running back Matt Forte with 49.

With the Green Bay Packers coming to Soldier Field with the division on the line, the Bears need a big game from receivers other than Brandon Marshall. Marshall has done his best to bait the Packers into playing man coverage Sunday, but chances are the Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers will stick to the two-man scheme that limited Marshall to two catches for 24 yards on just 5 targets.

With that being the case, Cutler must spread the ball around and give his other receivers a chance to make plays. And unless the receivers step up and begin to make those plays, the Bears will continue their slide and hand over the division to the Packers.

Related

    Aaron Rodgers Says Deshaun Is 'Extremely Gifted'

    NFL logo
    NFL

    Aaron Rodgers Says Deshaun Is 'Extremely Gifted'

    Jeff Risdon
    via Texans Wire

    Trump Takes Shot at NFL When Talking Anthem

    NFL logo
    NFL

    Trump Takes Shot at NFL When Talking Anthem

    Joseph Zucker
    via Bleacher Report

    Manziel's Team Has 2nd-Best Odds to Win Grey Cup

    NFL logo
    NFL

    Manziel's Team Has 2nd-Best Odds to Win Grey Cup

    Joseph Zucker
    via Bleacher Report

    Ryan Pace Sees Trubisky 'Taking More of an Authoritative Approach'

    Chicago Bears logo
    Chicago Bears

    Ryan Pace Sees Trubisky 'Taking More of an Authoritative Approach'

    Lorin Cox
    via Bears Wire