With a bye this weekend, the Bears have two weeks to prepare for the winless Bills on Nov. 7 in Toronto. That might not be enough time.
The improvement has to begin with quarterback Jay Cutler and an offense that has produced a total of two touchdowns in the last two games, both home losses.
"Offensively, we need to make some steps," Cutler said. "It's very devastating right now, very disappointing. We have four picks and a couple fumbles, and that's the difference in the ballgame. It can't happen. The defense has just got to keep doing what they're doing. They're the reason we have four wins. The offense has got to get up to their level."
The Bears have a lot of work to do.
The ever-changing offensive line was juggled again Sunday when right guard Edwin Williams went out late in the first quarter with back tightness and was replaced by Lance Louis.
The Bears have already used five different O-line configurations this season. Louis started the first four games at right guard before a knee injury sidelined him and opened the door for Williams. The latest version didn't produce any better results for a unit that has struggled all season.
The Bears came in dead last in sack-percentage allowed and suffered four more against the Redskins, giving them a total of 31 for the season, including 27 of Cutler. That puts the Bears on pace for 71 sacks allowed, which would surpass the old record of 66 set in 2004.
Cutler has been sacked 19 times in his past 10 quarters of football (he didn't play in the second half of the Giants game), and he has one TD pass and five interceptions in that time.
"I feel that we all struggled on offense, which makes the quarterback look like he's struggling," center Olin Kreutz said. "The whole offense struggled, from the offensive line to everybody. We all have something to improve on, and we all need to start with ourselves."
Starting right tackle J'Marcus Webb is a rookie, Williams is a first-year player, and Louis did not play at all last year as a rookie, meaning the Bears can expect some growing pains up front.
"But you still have to find a way to win," Kreutz said.
What's the formula for that?
"Well, we haven't found one yet," Kreutz said, "so I wouldn't know. "We have to work on everything."
WR Johnny Knox
Cutler was intercepted four times and sacked four times with one touchdown pass and a passer rating of 54.3. ... RB Matt Forte averaged 4.1 yards per carry, topping the 4.0 mark for just the second time this season, but he had just 10 attempts. ... WR Johnny Knox tied a personal best with six receptions, and he picked up 86 yards and his first touchdown of the season. But he was also the intended receiver on three of DeAngelo Hall's four interceptions. ... WR Devin Hester caught five passes for a total of 30 yards and a 6.0-yard average. ... DE Israel Idonije had one of the Bears' two sacks and leads the team with 4.5 for the season. His previous season high was 3.5 in 2008.
The Bears have lost three games this season, all in their last four outings, and their rushing attempts for each of the three losses are 16, 14 and 16. Their rushing yardage for those three games is 59, 61 and 66. They have averaged 27.5 rushing attempts in their four victories.
BY THE NUMBERS
The Bears converted two of their 10 third-down opportunities in Sunday's loss to the Redskins, and that actually improved their pathetic season average from 17.6 to 17.9. In the middle of the third quarter, they snapped their 0-for-28 third-down slump with Cutler at quarterback. The Bears have converted 5 of their last 53 third-down attempts in three-plus games.
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