In 2006, the presence of Devin Hester turned
the Chicago Bears from a decent football team into a Super Bowl
contender. In 2007, the Hester advantage makes the
Bears a mediocre football team instead of a bottom feeder (and
that's not quite as much fun). Hester has now bailed
out his squad twice this season, and the painful fact of the matter
is that the Bears would only have 3 wins on the board if not for
the skills of their heart stopping return specialist.
In short, it is a miracle that the Bears are alive in the NFC
wildcard raceâ€¦ but they are still alive.
With 5 games remaining on the schedule, the Chicago Bears remain in need of a few more miracles. As good as he is, Devin Hester can't do it by himself. With their backs against the wall, the Bears will probably have to win all of their remaining games to have a shot at the post season, yet they are still looking for their first winning streak of any kindâ€¦ and now they've got to do it without their #1 running back? From just about all of the angles, it seems like the Bears should be passed praying for miracles and ready to receive their last rights.
With the exception of special teams, the 2007
Chicago Bears have been a very average football team.
In my opinion, the Bears best hope for the winning streak they
crave is that Cedric Benson's leg injury turns out to be a blessing
The Bears are a faster, more elusive, possibly more dynamic backfield with Cedric on the sidelines. Perhaps the swifter mix of Adrian Peterson and Garrett Wolfe will give the Bears offense a shot in the arm and the advantage they've been searching for.
I, for one, hope that Adrian Peterson makes the most out of his opportunity, an opportunity he most certainly has earned. In his 6 years with the Bears, Peterson has piled up a 4.4 yards per carry average and scored 7 touchdowns. As the third down back this season, Peterson has pulled in 33 receptionsâ€¦ good for the second most catches on the team. With Peterson and Wolfe shouldering the load, the Bears should be more dangerous on screens and other short passing patterns out of the backfield, and hopefully their emergence will also add the threat of the breakaway run to the Bears attack.
Cedric Benson underachieved for an average offense. Here's hoping that his biggest contribution came in opening the door for his swifter teammates. There is no doubt that the Bears backfield got a little quicker this weekâ€¦ whether they got any better remains to be seen.