One of the reasons that wide receiver Brandon Marshall was targeted on more than 40 percent of Jay Cutler’s passes was that Marshall simply was open more than anyone else and Cutler could trust him. That distinction no longer belongs solely to Marshall.
For the second straight game four different receivers were targeted on at least five passes: Matt Forte 11, Marshall 10, Martellus Bennett nine, Alshon Jeffery five. The conclusion is that more than Marshall is both open and trusted, and also that defenses can no longer focus on Marshall.
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Bennett caught his second TD pass in as many games to give the Bears a momentum-reversal after the Vikings returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown. Credit Jeffery with a subtle “pick” as well as a 38-yard gain on an end-around. Bennett caught seven of the nine passes thrown to him.
Marshall was targeted on 10 passes for the second straight week, gained 100 yards (113) for the second straight week, and scored for the second straight week, on a 34-yard pass in the first quarter. Earl Bennett was targeted just twice but caught both of his passes.
“We’ve got some guys that want the ball,” Cutler said. “When we come off [the field], every single one of them is dialing up plays, in our ear, telling us what’s going to work and what’s not going to work. Whenever we give them opportunities, they makes plays.”
Rest of Week 2 Report Card