2011 Season Awards: Offensive MVP(s)

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When Grizzly Detail gave out MVPs for defense and special teams, we listed several nominees before choosing the MVP. With those phases, the Bears had several players who contributed consistently. However, with the offense, two injuries proved just how reliant the Bears were on Jay Cutler and Matt Forte.

Jay Cutler showed a relaxed and comfortable side that was not known before this season. He joked around with teammates on Twitter, was less abrasive with the media, and best of all? He played the best season of his career. His interceptions and sacks were down. During the teams five-game win streak, Cutler had three interceptions and six touchdown passes. His connection with Earl Bennett grew. In fact, Cutler even paid the fines when Bennett was docked for wearing unauthorized shoes. With Cutler under center, the playoffs were an inevitability.

When Cutler struggled early in the season, it was Matt Forte who put the offense on his back. In 12 games, he ran for 997 yards and caught for another 490. Forte ranked third in the league in yards from scrimmage per game. His 4.9 yards per carry ranked him seventh in the NFL.

But the offense was lost when injuries took them out. Cutler broke his thumb when running down an interception, and Forte's MCL was injured against Kansas City. Bears fans truly understood their value when Forte and Cutler couldn't play. The offense couldn't score on Kansas City's anemic defense. Marion Barber couldn't handle the rushing load against Denver. Caleb Hanie threw four interceptions in the four games he started in.

For that, we name Cutler and Forte the Bears offensive co-MVPs. Thankfully, they both expect health for next season.

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