With the Bears struggling on offense, it would seem the worst thing they can encounter at this time would be a prime-time game against a good defense.
That's exactly what they have against Dallas on Monday night.
QB Jay Cutler has a reputation -- deserved or not -- for struggling in prime-time games. Yet Cutler said he actually enjoys playing in prime time.
"It's fun," he said. "You get an extra day to prepare. You're the only game on TV. I think the guys get up for the games a little bit faster."
It looked like Cutler had anything but fun in the Bears' last prime-time game, when they lost 23-10 to the Packers at Green Bay and he yelled at and shoved teammate J'Marcus Webb. Some of Cutler's worst efforts have been saved for prime time, such as his five-INT debacle at San Francisco in 2009. It wasn't always his fault, like in the 17-3 loss on the road against the Giants when he got sacked nine times in the first half and suffered a concussion.
He has also has had some standout efforts -- like the 30-24 victory over Philadelphia in 2011 and a 40-14 win over Minnesota in 2010.
Since Cutler came to Chicago and started having problems playing well in prime-time games, there have been numerous theories put forth as explanation. One even suggested his diabetes makes it difficult to see receivers at night, which has been laughed off by anyone associated with the team -- not to mention the medical profession. But the constant seems to be that Cutler has struggled in prime time mainly as a Chicago Bear.
Cutler has a career passer rating of 83.6 and a Bears passer rating of 80.5. In prime-time games overall, he has a passer rating of 79.6, but as a Bear his passer rating in prime-time games is 71.96. With Denver, Cutler's prime-time passer rating in 10 games was 89.82. Cutler is 7-6 in prime-time starts with the Bears and was 4-6 in Denver.
Cutler comes into this game with an offense mired at 27th overall in the NFL. He has targeted Brandon Marshall 33 percent of the time (31 of 93 passes) and, in the meantime, Devin Hester hasn't had a catch since the opener. Earl Bennett has just six catches after getting a five-year, $18.55 million deal at the end of last season, and the tight ends have combined for only six catches.
So something has to happen to get the offense moving.
Marshall said the night game offers a chance for wide receivers to do what they do best.
"They say wide receivers are divas, so it's a time for us to showcase our diva-ness," he said.
Cutler produced a platitude no one in Chicago wants to hear after so much preseason hype centered around a new passing game involving Marshall.
"It's just the first year in the offense," Cutler said. "It's going to take time. Very few teams go out there in the first year offensively with a new offensive coordinator, new system and put up 30, 40 points a game."
After all the talk about the Bears offense, the 41-point season-opener and the money invested in fortifying the attack, a request for more time is unlikely to be accepted graciously by Chicagoans.
Follow Bears reporter Gene Chamberlain on Twitter @CBSBears.