Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Stock Watch: Urlacher continues rise
By Michael C. Wright
Brian Urlacher got in on the Bears' pick-six fun Sunday, returning an interception 46 yards for a touchdown.
1. Charles Tillman, CB: Fresh off winning NFC Defensive Player of the Month for October, Tillman got an early jump on the November award by forcing a career-high four fumbles against the Tennessee Titans. Tillman might even be a candidate for Defensive Player of the Year honors if he can keep up the production. He has already forced seven fumbles this season, and 36 in his career, which are the most in the NFL by a defensive back since 2003, when he came into the league.
2. Brandon Marshall, WR: Continues to produce at a record pace, despite teams committing coverage to him. He caught nine passes for 122 yards against the Titans, and a career-high three touchdowns. Marshall's four 100-yard receiving games this season are the most since Marcus Robinson produced five such games in 1999. Eight games into the season, Marshall is averaging a franchise-best 7.4 yards per catch and 99.6 receiving yards per game. He's on pace for career highs in receptions (118) and yardage (1,594).
3. Brian Urlacher, LB: Put together a strong performance for the second consecutive week, returning an interception 46 yards for a touchdown against the Titans in addition to forcing a fumble and recovering another in addition to contributing seven tackles. Urlacher has now scored five touchdowns, and his four defensive TDs tie Bennie McRae and Rosey Taylor for fourth-most in team history. Urlacher's fumble recovery, forced fumble and interception in one game marked just the second time in his career he accomplished that feat.
1. Gabe Carimi, RT:J'Marcus Webb could go here, too, after being called for a penalty that resulted in a safety. But Carimi graded out the worst in pass protection of Chicago's offensive linemen against the Titans. Because he graded out tops in run protection, Carimi overall graded second best. Carimi allowed two quarterback hits and a pair of hurries. He did manage to put together a better game than Webb in the run-blocking department. Still, his performance against the Titans was actually a little worse than his outing the week prior against Carolina.
2. Kellen Davis, TE: Gave up a sack, a hit and a pressure against the Titans in 70 snaps and wasn't a contributor as a receiver. Overall the outing was Davis' second-worst of the season. Considered an attractive option as a receiving threat by the coaching staff, Davis has caught two passes for 15 yards and a touchdown over the past three games and hasn't hauled in more than three balls in a game all season.
3. Blake Costanzo, LB: Played a role in the team falling out of the top 5 in run defense when he pursued too far downhill, before tripping over Steve Hutchinson as he attempted to recover on Chris Johnson's 80-yard touchdown that inflated Tennessee's rushing statistics during an otherwise strong outing by the Bears. Geno Hayes also played a role in Johnson busting the run when he couldn't get over the top of the center's block. Even as a backup, you're still expected to perform when you're on the field.