John Crist: We'll find out for sure Wednesday at Halas Hall if head coach Lovie Smith does finally make the switch from Grossman to Griese under center, but all indications point to that indeed happening. Grossman has been incredibly frustrating for Bears fans because he's capable of so much and really makes some incredible throws from time to time, but his decision-making seems to be getting worse instead of better, defenses are exploiting his lack of mobility with heavy pressure from all angles, and the beating he's taken in both the local and national press has to keep him awake at night no matter how much he claims otherwise. Griese has still never started a playoff game and been released by three franchises during his 10-year career, but he owns a lifetime passer rating of 84.5 – Grossman's is 69.3 – and has completed passes at a 63% clip along the way.
Griese does not have an especially strong arm and is just as much of a statue in the pocket as Grossman, but he's quicker with his decisions, takes better care of the football, and, most importantly in the eyes of Bears fans, he's not Rex Grossman.
NC: Cedric Benson is among the lowest-producing running backs in the league. What explains both Benson's and Chicago's – a team ranked 26th in rushing – inability to establish a running game, and at what point will Benson draw the fabled comparisons to Rashaan Salaam, Curtis Enis and others before him?
RB Cedric Benson
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
To be fair, the passing game has been grossly inconsistent and the offensive line went from "experienced" to "old" seemingly overnight, but Benson better start producing in a hurry or risk a running-back-by-committee demotion with backup Adrian Peterson and rookie Garrett Wolfe.
NC: Rookie tight end Greg Olsen had a few nice grabs during his rookie opener against Dallas. Given the team already had Desmond Clark, what added dimension does Olsen give Chicago's struggling offense?
JC: If there was a silver lining to that abysmal offensive performance against the Cowboys on Sunday Night Football, it was the debut of Olsen and the options he gives this passing game alongside Clark. The two of them combined for four catches and 86 yards, including back-to-back completions of 52 yards to Clark and 21 yards to Olsen during the team's lone touchdown drive of the ballgame midway through the third quarter. Olsen has the ability to line up at tight end, H-back, fullback, and receiver, providing a ton of matchup problems for both linebackers and safeties while potentially creating more one-on-one coverage for the likes of Bernard Berrian and Muhsin Muhammad on the outside.
I hypothesized that a good chunk of offensive coordinator Ron Turner's playbook went out the window with Olsen missing in action due to injury the first two weeks, but he still wasn't on the field enough against Dallas and needs to become a bigger part of the game plan right away.
NC: The Bears are entering the game with myriad injuries on defense, including Tommie Harris. How will those injuries affect what Chicago would like to do defensively, especially with regard to pass defense?
DT Tommie Harris
Nam Y. Huh/AP Images
Ricky Manning Jr. has played well as a Bear in the nickel package but struggled immensely when needed to start, and now untested rookies like S Kevin Payne and CB Trumaine McBride will be asked to play big roles on defense much earlier than anticipated.
NC: What is the thought of a fellow division publisher on the Detroit Lions? Is it a wait-and-see approach, or given the Lions' offensive outburst, are outsiders taking this team seriously?
JC: When asked what I thought about the rest of the NFC North before the start of the season, I was a backer of the Packers most of all because I was sure the Vikings didn't have enough offense and couldn't believe the Lions had enough defense. Jon Kitna and Co. have proven that they can sling the ball all over the yard as well as any team in the league, but the pass defense – 25th in the NFL last year and currently 31st this year – continues to be a weakness and could ultimately be this team's Achilles' heel. I think the division is much tougher and the conference as a whole looks to have made improvements from top to bottom, but Rod Marinelli's defensive reputation is yet to be justified in the Motor City and forces me to take the aforementioned wait-and-see approach with the Lions.
The Bears certainly aren't going to breeze through the NFC North the way they did in 2006 and have already dug themselves quite a hole, but none of these four clubs appear to be a Super Bowl contender just yet.
To read Part II of Behind Enemy Lines, where Nate answers five questions from John, Click Here.
John Crist is the Editor in Chief of BearReport.com. Nate Caminata is the Publisher of RoarReport.com.