Stock Watch: Headed in Wright direction
September, 26, 2012
By Michael C. Wright | ESPNChicago.com
Getty ImagesMajor Wright is finally making the impact the Bears expected, but J'Marcus Webb appears to be one bad game away from being benched.
1. Major Wright, S: The light seems to be finally coming on for Wright, who has battled injuries and inconsistency throughout his three years with the Bears. Against the St. Louis Rams, Wright returned an interception 45 yards for a TD, marking his second INT return for a TD. Wright is the first Chicago safety since Mike Brown to return multiple interceptions for a TD and one of three since 2010 to accomplish that feat.
2. Tim Jennings, CB: Nabbed another interception to run up his season total to an NFL-high four, and broke up another pass that Wright intercepted and returned for a touchdown. Going back to the final game of 2011, Jennings has picked off a pass in four consecutive games to become the first Bear to accomplish that feat since Dave Duerson in 1986. Jennings’ dramatic rise might serve as a lesson for some of the younger players that improvement can be a continual process regardless of age.
3. Israel Idonije, DT: Finally healthy after playing most of 2011 “on one leg” as he said, Idonije posted 2.5 sacks against the Rams and might finally be the complement to Julius Peppers the club expected. Idonije has generated 15.5 sacks over the last three seasons, and paired with backup Shea McClellin, the Bears seem to have found the right recipe for success on the side opposite Peppers.
1. Jay Cutler, QB: Cutler definitely improved in the ball-security department against the Rams, but he still ranks among the bottom of the league in several statistical categories. Under pressure, Cutler suffers sacks 25.6 percent of the time, according to Pro Football Focus and he’s completing 13 of 31 in those situations with three interceptions. With better protection and improved play calling, Cutler should be able to shake the funk he’s fighting through.
2. J'Marcus Webb, LT: With his job as a starter in danger, Webb performed better against the Rams than he did in the loss to the Green Bay Packers. But still, Webb allowed Cutler to get hit once and hurried on another occasion. Considered a dominant run blocker, Webb has slipped in that area over the past two games as well. Webb will be tested against Dallas Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware. A bad game could cost Webb his starting job.
3. Gabe Carimi, RT: Although Webb catches most of the heat for Chicago’s issues up front, Carimi has quietly struggled as well. Carimi has been a much more solid run blocker than pass protector at this point. Against St. Louis, the second-year veteran gave up a sack, a hit and three hurries in 72 snaps. On the season, Carimi has been responsible for 11 hurries, two sacks and three hits on Cutler, according to Pro Football Focus.