Having Alshon Jeffery and Eddie Royal both available for only the second time this season was a boost to the entire offense. Jeffery returned from missing four weeks with a hamstring pull to catch eight passes for 147 yards, the third-highest single-game total of his career, and one touchdown.
“It felt great to be back with my teammates,” Jeffery said, looking at the offense now with Royal and him back. “The sky is the limit. We just have to get healthy and just capitalize on it more when we get in the red zone.”
Royal broke a screen pass for 30 yards in the first quarter, and Jeffery, with strong blocking on that play, added three catches in a first-quarter touchdown drive, including one for 22 yards to convert a third down and build momentum after an early Detroit touchdown. Royal caught five passes for 49 yards but had one juggled ball on a crossing route that cost the Bears a third-down conversion in the fourth quarter.
Jeffrey’s comeback on a broken play allowed a hookup with Jay Cutler on a 45-yarder in the second quarter to set up a Robbie Gould field goal. But a Jeffery holding penalty took away a completion for a first down in the third quarter, and he cost the Bears yardage with a pass-interference infraction in the fourth quarter.
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All was forgiven, however, after Jeffery went high against double coverage for a touchdown in the fourth quarter one snap later.
The Bears hurt themselves with several drops of very catchable balls. Besides the Royal drop, Marquess Wilson failed to hold onto a wide-open pass in the third quarter, wasting an opportunity for a 20-yard completion. Martellus Bennett dropped what would have been a third-down conversion early in the fourth quarter.
But overall, “anytime you get starters back in your lineup,” said head coach John Fox, “it’s helpful. I think both Eddie Royal and Alshon Jeffery did spark our offensive team, and it’ll be good to get them back in there consistently.”
Moon's Grade: B+