If there was one positive takeaway from the Bears' loss to the Saints on Sunday afternoon it's the emergence of Alshon Jeffery.
Jeffery finished the game with 10 receptions for 218 yards and a touchdown. He broke the Bears' previous all-time mark of 214 yards set by Harlon Hill in 1954 and became only the third player in franchise history with 200 receiving yards in a single contest.
In two straight games, Jay Cutler has targeted Jeffery more than any other receiver on the Bears and for good reason; he's producing more than anybody in the group. Jeffery accounted for the Bears' five longest plays against the Saints. He had receptions of 58, 42, 31, 25 and 21 yards. Its the kind of production the Bears need from the second-year receiver if they want to take the next step towards the postseason in 2013.
It's also the kind of production the front office expected when they traded up to select Jeffery in the 2012 NFL Draft.
"I've always said this guy could be the best to ever do it," Brandon Marshall said, praising Jeffery after the game. "He's probably going to shatter all the Bears' records by the time he's done at the receiver position. That's one of the only positives from our offense today."
There were red flags surrounding Jeffery went he left South Carolina after his junior season. After a subpar rookie season, those questions still remained. But five games into his sophomore season, he's erasing all doubts and is showing the talent to be a force for years to come in the Windy City.
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After Sunday's loss, Jeffery showed the poise and maturity of an NFL veteran that isn't concerned about his numbers.
"It's not about what I did; it's about what the team did," Jeffery said. "And, we didn't get the win. So, that's what I focus on ... I feel like what I did out there today ... I'm more concerned about the 'W,' not about what I did. It's a team thing. There were 11 guys that it took for me to get 200-plus yards or whatever I had."
With his performance against New Orleans, Jeffery leads the Bears in receiving yards (429) and has 28 receptions for two touchdowns.