The Bears offense doesn't have to cure all of its ills Sunday in Arizona; the unit simply has to play well enough to help the team record a much-needed victory over the Cardinals.
"I told the guys we can't feel sorry for ourselves offensively," said quarterback
|Jay Cutler and the Bears are in a must-win situation as they prepare to visit Arizona.|
Scoring more touchdowns would be a great place to start. After averaging 29.5 points while winning seven of their first eight games, the Bears have averaged only 14.2 points in losing five of six.
In last Sunday's 21-13 defeat to the Packers at Soldier Field, the Bears mustered just 190 total yards and one touchdown, went 0-of-9 on third down and failed to get into the end zone on three straight plays from the Green Bay 1 before settling for a field goal.
Asked what he thought about perennial Pro Bowl linebackers
Although the Cardinals had lost nine straight games before stomping Detroit 38-10 last Sunday in Arizona, their defense has been steady throughout the season, leading the NFL in interceptions (22) and opponent passer rating (68.0). The Cardinals picked off three passes against the Lions, returning two for touchdowns and one to the three-yard line, setting up another TD.
"They show a lot of different looks," Cutler said. "They're not afraid to blitz. They have a lot of talented guys in the secondary, linebackers, and even up front, so it's challenging. They create turnovers. They're really good on third down and they're good in the red zone, so we have our hands full."
Sunday's marquee match-up at University of Phoenix Stadium will pit Bears receiver
"The kid is talented," Marshall said. "I got a text message from my college coach that also coached at LSU when he was there. He said this is the best athlete you're going to go against this year, so I've got my hands full. I know he'll follow me around a little bit.
"I heard some comments he made a week or two ago about how he's playing the best at that position, and I agree with him. Watching film now, he really is backing it up. Unfortunately, their record doesn't show that; that kind of puts a damper on his play right now. But he's playing at a high level and this guy's going to be another Pro Bowler."
If the Bears offense doesn't improve in the final two weeks of the season, there could be major offseason changes. But Cutler insisted that players are focusing solely on trying to beat the Cardinals.
"I think that's a conversation for after the season," Cutler said. "We're in the middle of the season right now and there's enough on our plate to worry about. After the season that'd be a conversation.
"We just have to get to nine wins. We can't go anywhere unless we get to nine and then if we get to nine we can talk about 10. But right now eight isn't good enough and nine might not be good enough either."
Even after losing five of six to fall to 8-6, the Bears can still earn a wildcard berth by closing the season with road wins over the Cardinals and Lions coupled with help from other teams.
"Winning is contagious and unfortunately losing is too," Marshall said. "And it's all about a mindset. I look back on teams I've been on the past six years and I've never been to the playoffs.
"So as someone sitting back and watching and observing, I understand what losing is and I understand what winning is, and this is a winning team. This is a winning organization. That's what really frustrates me and other guys; when you look at what has been going on these past few weeks, it's that this is a winning team.
"You have high character guys. You have guys that fight. You have guys that respond to adversity the right way. You have guys that work hard. We're close and we have the guys; we have the guys upstairs and in the locker room to really get it done. We just need to do it."
Roster move: The Bears on Wednesday signed guard