Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Streaking and Slumping: Week 11
By Michael C. Wright
Wide receiver Roy Williams is starting to heat up; Edwin Williams may just need a few more reps.
1. Roy Williams, WR: The receiver twirled his right hand quickly, index finger pointing out with the motion forming tiny circles. Williams explained that as the universal signal for “keep it coming.” Perhaps the fans can ask the same from the receiver, who hauled in a season-high five receptions against the San Diego Chargers after not registering one grab the week before against the Detroit Lions.
2. Johnny Knox, WR: That spinning 24-yard touchdown grab in the third quarter, that’s a catch most receivers won’t make. But somehow Knox did it on a day he averaged a whopping 32.3 yards per catch. It’s no secret the coaching staff has been extremely high on Knox in recent weeks, which is part of the reason Devin Hester is seeing less action on offense. After one-catch performances in back-to-back games, it was nice to see Knox showcase his explosive ability.
3. Jay Cutler, QB: As he’d done all season, Cutler bounced back from a rough outing in the win over Detroit to put on a quarterbacking clinic against the Chargers. What’s disappointing about Cutler’s pending absence is he seems to have perfected the art of threading the needle under duress, not to mention he’s performed a tad more consistently than he did in 2010.
1. Edwin Williams, OG: “Slumping” is a strong word here, but it was clear Williams hadn’t spent enough time with the starters when he filled in at left guard against the San Diego Chargers. Williams held up well in pass protection, but as offensive line coach Mike Tice anticipated, he was somewhat shaky in situations that called for him blocking in space. Given a little more time with the starters, Williams will get up to speed.
2. Dane Sanzenbacher, WR: Opportunities continue to dwindle for the rookie, who hasn’t caught a ball in three consecutive games now. Going into the matchup with the Chargers, he ranked fourth in the NFL in drops (5) according to ESPN Stats & Info and that could play a role in the lack of looks from the quarterback. We’ve chalked up the recent struggles to hitting the rookie wall, but he’s got to snap out of it soon. Sanzenbacher has proven he can perform at this level, and the team will need him down the stretch.
3. Amobi Okoye, DT: It wasn’t too long ago that defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli indicated that Okoye could be pushing Henry Melton for the start at that under-tackle spot. But Okoye hasn’t been quite as disruptive recently as he was during a two-game stretch in Oct. in which the veteran registered a pair of sacks. Part of that is the fact Melton has performed better, which has taken away some of Okoye’s snaps.