With Jay Cutler working on being efficient, Bears receivers were making game-changing plays without a lot of long-distance fanfare. The Bears finished with 159 receiving yards with nothing longer than one 41-yard catch by Brandon Marshall, but the quality of reception was key.
[GIF: Cutler throws his shoulder into Pittsburgh DB]
“We really didn’t attack the deep,” Marshall said. “We took a few shorts but our game plan was to attack the outside lanes, get the ball out quick.”
The Bears have had three different receivers lead the team in catches in three games: Marshall with eight vs. Cincinnati, Matt Forte with 11 against Minnesota; and Alshon Jeffery with seven on Sunday, of the eight passes thrown to him.
Earl Bennett gave the offense a desperately needed touchdown catch, a clinic in getting one’s toes down in the end zone while still making a 17-yard catch.
[RELATED: Bennett's score comes as a surprise]
“I thought I was a tick late,” Cutler said, “but Earl made a heck of a catch in the corner for us.”
Marshall threw a perfect block to ensure a third-down conversion by Matt Forte in the first quarter, leading to a Forte TD on the next play. His drop of a potential third-down conversion in the second quarter fueled Pittsburgh momentum. But his 41-yard grab on a third-and-12 in the fourth quarter effectively ended any chance of the Steelers picking themselves up.
Moon's Grade: A