Marshall reunites with Cutler in Chicago

March, 13, 2012
3/13/12
4:46
PM ET

AP Photo/David ZalubowskiBrandon Marshall (left) and Jay Cutler both were drafted by the Denver Broncos in 2006.
Only three players have had at least 1,000 yards receiving each of the last five seasons: Larry Fitzgerald, Roddy White and Brandon Marshall.

For Marshall, his first two 1,000-yard seasons came when he was paired with QB Jay Cutler with the Denver Broncos. From 2007-08, Marshall had 206 receptions (only Wes Welker had more) and his 2,590 yards ranked third behind Fitzgerald and Reggie Wayne.

In 2008, Cutler targeted Marshall a league-high 179 times, 33 more than any other QB-receiver combination. That’s the most times a QB has targeted a player in a single season in the last four years.

Marshall and Cutler have been reunited with the Chicago Bears, a team that hasn't had a 1,000-yard receiver since Marty Booker in 2002.

In fact, since the 1970 merger, the Bears have had a total of seven 1,000-yard seasons posted by receivers. (Booker and Curtis Conway are tied for the most with two.)

In his three seasons in Chicago, Cutler's leader in receptions among wide receivers is Johnny Knox with 133, which ranks 43rd in the NFL among wide receivers. (The Bears leader in receptions the last three seasons is running back Matt Forte with 160.)

However, one area that Knox has proven to be Marshall's equal is on deep routes. On throws over 20 yards, Marshall has been targeted 68 times, with 24 receptions (and three drops) and four touchdowns over the last three seasons. (In 2008 with Cutler, Marshall was targeted 25 times on throws more than 20 yards downfield, with seven receptions, 235 yards and one TD.)

Knox has been targeted 18 fewer times than Marshall on throws over 20 yards, and still has 22 receptions (and only one drop) and six touchdowns.

One flaw in Marshall's game is drops. Since 2008, his 26 on-target drops are third most in the NFL behind Dwayne Bowe (37) and White (31).

Marshall also has caught only 12 of his 64 end zone targets the last four seasons. That’s the second-worst rate in the NFL behind Braylon Edwards. (Marshall caught five of 15 attempts from Cutler in 2008.)

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