There is an undeniable divide between the offensive mentalities of the undefeated teams celebrating at the top of the NFC North – the Lions and Packers – and those of the sputtering, confused weaklings in the basement: the Vikings and Bears.
The Lions and Packers were already packing more firepower than their former Central rivals. However, these past few years, they have not ceased adding dynamic playmakers. The Lions have added Nate Burleson, Maurice Stovall, Tony Scheffler, Brandon Pettigrew, Rashied Davis and Titus Young in the last 3 seasons despite having one of the best receivers in the game, Calvin Johnson. The Packers have added Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, James Starks and Jermichael Finley despite being already fully loaded.
The Bears have given up on several receivers who have joined Percy Harvin to make a rather meek Minnesota receiving corps.
The Bears corps is even worse. The NFL is a passing league. The rules are contoured that way, the corner crop coming from college is consistently inferior to the tight end and receiver crop, and the quarterbacks are turning the back shoulder throw into an art form.
The truth is: you need a 1000-yard receiver to win a Super Bowl. I have said repeatedly that getting to a Super Bowl was the worst thing that could have happened to the Bears in 2006. It kept Lovie around and – surprise – that is the only team in the last 5 seasons to make a Super Bowl without a 1000-yard receiver.
Even the Super Bowl teams that are so evolved to spread the ball out when a defense takes away their top threat have had 1000-yard receivers (Marques Colston’s 1074-yard, 2009 season). Plaxico Burress of the Super Bowl XLII-winning Giants couldn’t even practice he was so injured, yet he still had 1025 yards along with 12 TD’s.
I know that having deficiencies in other areas has prohibited these teams from adding too many players but many of these receivers are either slow but physical or fast but diminutive. To keep up with the James Joneses, teams gotta keep getting guys who win match-ups, those “when-you-absolutely-gotta-have-a-play” playmakers.
And, now, Adam Schefter reported that Randy Moss is interested in the Bears. Moss has 10 career TDs in his 8 wins and 6 losses against Da Bears in his career. In 14 games against Chicago, he has 86 catches for 1155 yards.
As awful as last season was for Moss, many believed that fueled him to work extra hard this off-season. As awful as it was, he caught as many TDs last season as the Bears’ two top receivers, Knox and Hester each did.
So, here it is. Another year, another lack of top target, another lack of reason for coordinators to not relentlessly blitz Jay Cutler.
A strong locker room will be able to stay focused with Randy Moss there. The truth is, the Bears have a tough schedule in which four of the next six opponents are 3-1 or 4-0 and that doesn’t include a difficult road test against the Eagles. A motivated playmaker like Moss would cover many holes. If they won’t add Moss, I wish they’d add a strong, physical red-zone receiver like T.J. Houshmandzadeh. Show the fans you care or at least show that you want to stay employed, Jerry Angelo and Lovie Smith.
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