Chicago Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery (17) attempts to make a catch against Detroit Lions strong safety Glover Quin (27) during the second half at Soldier Field. Detroit defeats Chicago 21-19. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery have big games in loss


The Chicago Bears weren’t able to prevail against the rival Detroit Lions and came up short in a 21-19 loss, but their two star wide receivers had 100-yard games despite some second-half struggles from Jay Cutler, who was pulled in the fourth quarter due to an ankle injury. Marshall had a nasty seven receptions for 139 yards on two touchdowns, including the 11-yard TD late in the fourth that could have been the game winner had the Bears converted on the two-point conversion.

Early in the regular season, teams double and triple-teamed Brandon Marshall on every play, because they knew that Marshall is insanely good and that Jay Cutler will always throw it to him. But because they focused in on Marshall, they completely neglected Alshon Jeffery, who is a very talented player and consistently made those teams play. Jeffery would gain an insurmountable amount of passing yards as a result of weak coverage against him, but that was until defenses finally stopped focusing too much of their coverage on Marshall. The new respect for Jeffery allowed Marshall to finally post his stats, and it’s created one of the most talented WR duos in the NFL.

I bring up this seemingly unrelated paragraph, because I think it applies to what transpired today. The Bears targeted Alshon Jeffery 18 times today and went after him early and often, which caused the Lions to start focusing their coverage on Jeffery, who was destroying Darius Slay. The Lions then moved top corner Chris Houston on him, and Jeffery had a really nice catch on the final drive on Houston, in which he turned to force a missed tackle and later ran out of bounds.

Jeffery didn’t post as big numbers as Marshall did, but he still had an excellent performance with nine receptions for 114 yards. If you started either player on your fantasy team this week, then you reaped the benefits. Jeffery could have had more points, too, had that touchdown not been overturned.

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Tags: Alshon Jeffery Behind The Numbers Brandon Marshall Chicago Bears