Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Stock Watch: Marshall continues his tear
By Michael C. Wright
The Bears' Brandon Marshall has six 100-yard receiving games already this season.
1. Jay Cutler, QB: Generated a passer rating of 100-plus for the third time this season, but it also marked the first time in his career he accomplished that feat in a losing effort. In fact the defeat also marked the first time under Lovie Smith the Bears lost a game when the quarterback finished with a passer rating of 100 or better. Over the past two games, Cutler utilized his mobility more and moved around in the pocket to find room to throw. That needs to continue.
2. Brandon Marshall, WR: Marshall racked up the most receiving yards (165) by a Bear since 2002, when Marty Booker finished with 198 yards against the Vikings. Marshall has now produced six 100-yard receiving games this season, which ties for the third most in franchise history with Harlon Hill and Johnny Morris. With 91 receptions and 1,182 yards with four games remaining, Marshall is sure to shatter most if not all of the team's receiving records.
3. Matt Forte, RB: Forte has averaged just 3 yards per carry in each of his past three games, but he took advantage of his opportunities against the Seahawks by gaining 96 yards from scrimmage with 66 yards on the ground and 30 receiving with a touchdown. The Bears need to implement Forte even more moving forward because he seems poised for a breakout game. Forte needs just 15 yards from scrimmage to move past Rick Casares for third-most in Bears history.
1. Edwin Williams, G: Although Williams gives the Bears a little more strength inside than most of the other players on the roster at guard, the concern with him has always been his inconsistency at blocking in space, a flaw that was exploited against the Seahawks. Missed Williams blocks resulted in at least five tackles over the first two quarters, and he allowed a couple of quarterback pressures in addition to struggling when the team called runs that required him to pull.
2. Charles Tillman, CB: Perhaps the foot injury suffered on Nov. 25 against the Minnesota played a role Sunday against the Seahawks, which seemed to go after Tillman. Seattle threw 10 passes in Tillman's direction, and the cornerback surrendered 98 yards, which is the most he's given up all season. Sidney Rice's game-winning touchdown in overtime marked just the second TD Tillman has allowed over 12 contests.
3. Julius Peppers, DE: Peppers deserves credit for notching his first sack since Nov. 11, and he also hurried the quarterback twice. But given his pedigree as one of the best pass rushers to ever play the game, Peppers hasn't been impactful enough for a defensive line that has been getting strong play from DTs Henry Melton and Stephen Paea. Peppers contributed three tackles against the Seahawks, but has finished with two tackles or fewer in all but two games this season.