After catching 12 passes for 144 yards at Jacksonville, Brandon Marshall already has 35 receptions for 496 yards, putting him on pace for 112 catches and 1,587 yards, both of which would be team records.
“We target him a lot,” coach Lovie Smith said. “That’s why we brought him here, and he’s stepped up to the plate.”
Marshall was targeted 17 times Sunday, when he also caught his third touchdown pass of the season and went over 100 yards for the second straight week.
“It’s pretty typical,” quarterback Jay Cutler said. “When he gets matched up 1-on-1, he’s going to make some plays.”
Marshall, who had 138 receiving yards six days earlier at Dallas, is the first Bears player with back-to-back 100-yard receiving games since Marcus Robinson did it in Weeks 10 and 11 of the 1999 season.
The 144 receiving yards are the fifth most of his career, and the 12 receptions are the third most. Marshall is the first Bears wide receiver with 10-plus catches in a game since Marty Booker caught 10 on Nov. 24, 2002, against Detroit.
Booker holds the Bears’ single-season reception record with 100, and Robinson holds the yardage mark with 1,400.
Ground and pound:
The 214 rushing yards against the Jaguars were the third most under coach Lovie Smith, behind 224 against Carolina on Oct. 2, 2011, and 218 also against the Panthers on Oct. 10, 2010.
The Bears came into Week 5 16th in rushing yards and just 28th in average gain per run but averaged 6.5 yards on 33 carries, the first time all season they’ve averaged better than 4.1 yards.
“It’s a must for us. I’m talking about a commitment of us running the ball,” coach Lovie Smith said. “We’re not going to always rush for 200 yards, but just the commitment that we’re running it and making the defenses play the run, that’s what we have to do.”
Matt Forte (107 rushing yards on 22 carries) and Brandon Marshall (144 yards on 12 receptions) are the first Bears teammates to have 100 yards rushing and 100 yards receiving in the same game since Thomas Jones (113 rushing) and Muhsin Muhammad (123 receiving) on Nov. 12, 2006, against the New York Giants.
There was no update on rookie wide receiver Alshon Jeffery by the Bears Monday, but ESPN Chicago reported Jeffrey, who left the game and did not return after injuring his right hand on a 10-yard TD catch early in the fourth quarter, suffered a fracture in that hand.
“We’re continuing to evaluate it to see where he is,” said coach Lovie Smith, who expects to have wide receiver Earl Bennett (hand) and fullback Evan Rodriguez (knee) back after this week’s bye.
The Bears will practice Tuesday and Wednesday and then be off until Monday.
“We want the players to get away, enjoy their bye week, get away from football and do whatever they want to do,” Lovie Smith said. “Then get ready for this long haul (that) hopefully we’re going to have the rest of the year.”Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.