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Bears’ offense will improve one first down at a time

Updated: December 10, 2012 6:17AM

This week, Bears coach Lovie Smith raised expectations that the Bears’ offense might emerge from the shadow of his team’s record-setting defense. But both Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall said we shouldn’t expect too much too soon.

The Bears are third in the NFL in points per game (29.5) behind the Patriots (32.8) and Texans (29.6). But they’re 13th in points scored by the offense (22.6). They’re 25th in total yards.

The defense is second in points allowed (13.0) behind the 49ers (12.0). But they’ve also scored seven touchdowns that have produced 48 points for a net of 56 points allowed, 7.0 per game. That’s unheard of in the NFL.

On his weekly radio show, Cutler challenged the defense to “step it up.’’ But he was obviously talking about small steps rather than the giant leaps Bears fans are dreaming of.

“We’re not going to catch the defense this year. It’s not going to happen,’’ Cutler said. “We’re eight, nine years behind those guys. They’ve been in the same system a long time. We’ve just got to focus on ourselves. Every guy has just got to get a little bit better each week, every day at practice. If we get a little bit better by the end of the season, we’ll be better.’’

Marshall also did not want to get too far ahead of himself.

“I think you guys have to understand (that) we’re not going to look like the New England Patriots (or) the New Orleans Saints’ offense,’’ Marshall said. “We’re the Chicago Bears offense.

“We scored 37 points last week. We have great receivers. We have one of the best running backs. We have one of the best quarterbacks., one of the best closers in the game. We have passionate coaches. We are the Chicago Bears. And that’s how we’re going to win games. It’s not going to look like New Orleans or Green Bay, New England Patriots, Denver Broncos. We’re going to do it our way.’’

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