Bears in major trouble at Seattle without Jay Cutler, Alshon Jeffery (Shutdown Corner)

The Chicago Bears are dead last in the Shutdown Corner power rankings, so the good news is that there’s nowhere to go but up from here. Right? Well … The Bears announced Friday that quarterback Jay Cutler and wide receiver Alshon Jeffery will not make the trip to face the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday. Both teams are 0-2, but this appears to be a hornet’s nest doused in gasoline with a Seahawks team that expects to get back on track — especially after safety Kam Chancellor ending his holdout. Good luck, Jimmy Clausen and Co. [ Yahoo Fantasy Football: Still not too late to sign up for a league ] Vegas doesn’t think much of the Bears’ chances of pulling the upset, and frankly, neither do we. The Bears have yet to register a sack this season and are ranked dead last in both third-down defense and points allowed. Forget about how the offense is going to perform … how in the world are the Bears, who did not hit Aaron Rodgers once in Week 1, going to slow down Russell Wilson? There’s more bad news: The schedule doesn’t do them many favors. Yes, the Oakland Raiders come to Chicago, ending the streak of three straight 2014 playoff teams to open the season. But the Raiders are coming off a promising win, have a bonafide passing duo in Derek Carr and Amari Cooper and might be facing Clausen if Cutler’s hamstring doesn’t heal. After the Raiders game in Week 4, the Bears face two tough road games — at Kansas City Chiefs and at Detroit Lions — before the Week 7 bye. The Chiefs have one of the best defense in the league, and the Bears have lost two straight and three of four to the Lions in Detroit. Some Bears fans already are giving up on the season and pining for the top pick in the 2016 NFL draft — the Jared Goff sweepstakes perhaps? — which, of course, will be hosted in Chicago. (For the trivia buffs: The last time a team from the city hosting the draft picked No. 1 was back in 1996 when the Jets chose Keyshawn Johnson.) Is there any hope this season to avoid the basement for the Bears? Matt Forte is running well, and Jeffery will want to return to the field and show he can be a No. 1 receiver heading into his free-agency year. Cutler also has motivation to show something, with many Bears fans unable at this point to find anything redeeming about him and a limited, if non-existent, trade market for his services. The Bears’ recent drafting history has done them no favors. First-round pick Kevin White might be done for the season with injury before he ever stepped on the field. Cornerback Kyle Fuller clearly is suffering with his confidence, having just been benched. Shea McClellin is a man without a home, a square peg in whatever round hole the Bears try to fit him into. Even Kyle Long, who has a bright future in the league, is adjusting to his new role at right tackle. Several other second- and third-round picks from recent years are either backups or low-impact starters, other than Jeffery and Forte. Yes, it’s going to get uglier, we suspect, before it gets better in Chicago, even if this is a good coaching staff that could have things on the right track by season’s end. – – – – – – – Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Eric_Edholm

from Yahoo Sports



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