ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 19: (L-R) Running back Matt Forte #22 and Jay Cutler #6 of the Chicago Bears celebrate a touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys in the fourth quarter at Cowboys Stadium on September 19, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Matt Forte;Jay Cutler
It's awards season, Bears fans. Though that means that Hollywood's best are donning insanely expensive gowns, faking their way through interviews and partying the night away, it also means that it's time to award the best of the Bears. Today, we look at the offensive MVP. (We awarded defense yesterday.)
The nominees are:
Earl Bennett -- The receiver came on strong in the second half of the season, working the Vanderbilt Connection with his QB and collegiate teammate in Jay Cutler. An ankle injury slowed him in the postseason, but before that, Bennett was clutch. He played in 14 games, and in half of those games, caught a pass of more than 20 yards.
Jay Cutler -- The QB's season was an absolute roller coaster, with highs of a four-TD game against the Eagles and two rushing touchdowns against the Seahawks in the playoffs, and lows of getting sacked nine times by the Giants and throwing four interceptions against the Redskins. But no matter the lows, the fact is that Cutler made adjustments at the bye week and helped turn around a team that looked bound for a losing record.
Matt Forte -- If we were judging just by rushing numbers, Forte would still be on the list, as he ran for 1,069 yards during the regular season. But what made Forte so indispensable to the Bears was that he was a threat both to run and to catch -- he was third among Bears receivers, just 14 yards behind Earl Bennett. His play was one thing that kept the Bears in the game against the Packers in the playoffs, gaining 160 yards from scrimmage.
Johnny Knox -- When the Bears were in need of a big play, Knox was the man to call upon. He averaged 18.8 yards per carry this season, coming up with clutch TD catches against the Jets and Eagles. He still has plenty to learn -- like how to force an incomplete instead of an interception -- but Knox and his 960 yards were a huge reason why the Bears won the NFC North.
And the Grizzly Detail Offensive MVP goes to ...
Matt Forte! The man emerged from a sophomore slump to be an integral part of the Bears offense. He is looking for a contract extension. Please, Bears, give it to him.