Thursday, January 16, 2014
NFLN survey/franchise player: Bears
By Michael C. Wright
We asked players in our NFL Nation survey which player they'd choose if they were to start a team with one player, and while Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning received most of the votes league wide, here in Chicago, the Bears chose more familiar faces.
Of the 10 Bears players participating in the survey, only one picked Manning, while Detroit Lions receiver Calvin Johnson received the majority of mention (three votes), followed by Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (two) and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (two).
Johnson would make sense from Chicago's perspective, considering he's caught 63 passes for 928 yards and seven touchdowns in 13 career games against the Bears. Johnson has been more productive against only one other team (Green Bay) throughout his tenure.
Peterson shares a similar story, having rushed for 1,396 yards and 14 touchdowns in 12 career games against the Bears. The only other team he's been more productive against is Green Bay -- with 1,648 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns in 14 games -- but his team is 4-9-1 against the Packers with Peterson in the lineup. Rodgers, meanwhile, owns a 9-3 record against the Bears, having thrown for 2,831 yards and 21 scores to go with a passer rating of 100.9.
Manning obviously hasn't been as successful against Chicago in the regular season because he's only faced them three times, but Super Bowl XLI likely sticks in the craw of the one Bears player that picked him in this survey. When Manning faced the Bears in that Super Bowl, he completed 25 of 38 for 247 yards, a touchdown and an interception in Indianapolis' 29-17 victory.
In the three other games, Manning posted a record of 1-2, throwing for 770 yards, seven touchdowns and two interceptions.
Interestingly, Manning's eventual replacement in Indianapolis, Andrew Luck, was the wild card in the survey in Chicago with only one Bear picking him as the player they'd start a team with. Luck made his NFL debut against Chicago in the 2012 season opener at Soldier Field, with the Bears winning 41-21 after picking off the quarterback three times as he finished with a passer rating of 52.9.