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McNeil: Time For Cutler To Step Up And Define His Bears Career

Jay Cutler.  (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

Jay Cutler. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

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By Dan McNeil-

I’m relieved the Bears have concluded the junior varsity portion of their schedule and finally have a worthy opponent Sunday night at Soldier Field. The comedy of errors in Nashville was entertaining, but it’s time for a 15-round bout between two legitimate heavyweight contenders.

It’s silly to mock a club that’s 7-1, but it has been difficult to gauge just how good the Bears are. The Texans, also 7-1, will provide a much-needed barometer.

Lovie Smith’s Bears and Gary Kubiak’s Texans mirror one another.

Both defenses have been lethal possessing a real appetite for changing the complexion of a game. The Bears have their MVP candidate in ball-punching cornerback Charles Tillman while the Texans have destructive defensive end J.J. Watt.

Both teams have top-shelf running backs. Arian Foster arguably is the best dual threat in the league. Matt Forte has played up to his new contract and Bears fans are screaming for Mike Tice to get him more involved in the passing game.

For the rest of this column from the Chicago Tribune, please click here.