Alshon Jeffery delivered a second straight dominant performance.
Jay Cutler targeted Jeffery on 15 of his 33 pass attempts, with good reason. Jeffery finished with 10 receptions for 116 yards and a touchdown, his second straight 100-yard game (compared with three all last season, none over the final six games). Jeffery caught four of six passes in the first half, one for a 21-yard touchdown against Xavier Rhodes, winning a jump ball against the Vikings cornerback for a game-tying score just before halftime.
“I think it was a better throw than my route, actually,” Jeffery said. “He just threw it up and gave me a chance. It was a double move but the corner didn’t bite. It was a great throw and I made a great catch.”
Cutler put the pass high enough where Jeffery or no one was making the catch: “That’s why we throw it up to him. That’s why we have him out there. That’s why we take chances with him, because he can make plays like that… . We still have to keep finding ways to get him the ball and get him open in some coverages.”
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Jeffery beat single coverage in the third quarter for a 28-yard gain from Cutler. His catch of a fourth-down throw midway through the fourth quarter involved perfect screening off of the defender for a possession grab the Bears needed to sustain a drive with the score tied.
In a game plan working short early, intent on staying out of third-and-long’s, Eddie Royal caught three passes in the first half but for a total of 2 yards in and then was out for the second half with a knee injury. Martellus Bennett caught three passes for 32 total yards but Marquess Wilson was a virtual non-factor, with just one catch for 14 yards.
Poor blocking by Wilson and others cost the Bears a third-down conversion on a throw to Royal but Robbie Gould converting from 55 yards saved the possession. Jeffery whiffed while blocking on a subsequent screen throw to Royal, forcing the Bears to punt.
Moon's Grade: A