The Chicago Bears haven't played that great as of late, but they have the chance to hold a 5-2 record heading into their Week Eight bye after Sunday's NFC matchup with the Washington Redskins (1-4).
Losses to the Detroit Lions (4-2) and New Orleans Saints (5-1) the two weeks prior to last Thursday night's win over the New York Giants (0-6) had the Bears hungry.
On a short week against a terrible Giants team the Bears didn't look too great, especially on defense, but the offense put together a solid performance.
Cutler looked solid as he completed passes to six different receivers including fullback Tony Fiametta on a long 30-yard reception, which was his first of the season.
Wide receiver Brandon Marshall led the way with nine receptions, 87 yards and two touchdowns, while Martellus Bennett and Matt Forte combined for 12 catches for 112 yards.
The Bears' offensive line kept Cutler clean against a very bad Giants defense. The Redskins pass rush didn't fair much better last week in a 31-16 loss, generating just one sack against Tony Romo and the Boys'.
The Bears need to keep the same focus on offense this week. Having a weapon like Brandon Marshall will open up plenty for the rest of the Bears receiving core.
Cutler has been very good since totally blowing the Week Four NFC North matchup against the Lions, accounting for four turnovers.
Cutler has posted a 100 plus QB rating in back-to-back games and has a 95.2 QB rating for the season. The Bears' offense hasn't been the worry as of late its really been the defense that seems to be losing veteran players each week.
Henry Melton, Nate Collins and D.J. Williams were all key players to the Bears' success on defense. Unfortunately none of them will be in uniform for the rest of the season.
Losing nickelback Kelvin Hayden and versatile defensive lineman Turk McBride during training camp certainly didn't help the cause either.
The Bears will need to tinker some things on defense. The middle of the defense is a big weakness and likely for the rest of the season opponents will find ways to attack it.
Mel Tucker hasn't been asked to change much in this Cover-2 scheme since he's taken over. This could be the time where we found how good of a coach he is.
The defensive line still has plenty of talent with up-and-coming youngsters Corey Wootton, Stephen Paea and Shea McClellin working hard.
Julius Peppers posted another dud last week with no tackles. Peppers still demands a double team, but he is no where near the player he was when the Bears acquired him in 2010.
At 33-years-old, you have to wonder how much Peppers has left in the tank. The Bears still owe him over $30 million the next two seasons.
Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III is starting to get back to the player he was in 2012, but he still isn't quite the same coming off a major knee injury.
Griffin III completed 19 of 39 passes for 246 yards and one interception last Sunday night. He was sacked three times as he posted a 58.3 QB rating. He was 3-15 with an interception on pass attempts 10 yards or longer.
He is completing just 36 percent of pass attempts 10 yards or longer. It's interesting because he led the league in that passing category a year ago.
The Redskins totaled 433 yards of offense against the Cowboys, but a lot of those yards came in garbage time. Griffin III ran nine times for 77 yards including a long of 26.
The offensive line looked weak as Griffin III was pressured way too often. His receivers didn't get much separation. His top receiver Pierre Garcon was targeted a game-high 15 times, but only reeled in six of them.
Rookie tight end Jordan Reed is starting to become a nice weapon for the Redskins as he caught four passes for 58 yards.
The Bears' defense just needs to contain Griffin III and force him to go outside with either his legs or feet. If he gets up the middle of the field it could be dangerous considering how weak that spot is right now for Lance Briggs and Co.
On the offensive side of things, the Bears should be able to find success against a pretty average Redskins defense. Linebackers Perry Riley, London Fletcher and cornerback DeAngelo Hall are the best athletes among the unit.
Riley racked up five tackles, one sack and three quarterback hits last week.
The Bears should be able to get their second win in a row on the road against a Redskins team that hasn't played very well all season long.
If not things won't look so promising heading into their Week Eight bye. The NFC North still has very two good teams in the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers.
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