A third-quarter catch Sunday put Brandon Marshall over the 1,000-yard mark for the sixth straight season, and he admitted he was aware of the milestone.
He informed Jay Cutler, his best friend on the team, but the quarterback didn’t share his sense of accomplishment.
“He looked at me and said, ‘You’re disgusting,’” Marshall said, cracking up. “But, yes, I’m aware of it.”
Marshall earned every one of his 92 yards in the Bears’ 28-10 victory. And it only seemed as if he had to rip the football away from a Vikings defender on every one of his 12 receptions.
He became the first Bear to surpass 1,000 yards since Marty Booker had 1,189 in 2002.
With Cutler playing his first game since suffering a concussion against the Texans two weeks ago and operating behind a patchwork offensive line, the Bears were loath to risk any deep routes or slow-developing plays. So most of his throws to his favorite receiver came on short routes in heavy traffic.
But that worked out fine for Marshall, who now has 1,017 receiving yards and is on pace for 1,479 for the season — which would shatter Marcus Robinson’s team record of 1,400.
“He played great,” Cutler said. “He’s a guy I can count on in about every situation, and that’s why we brought him here.”
So far Marshall appears to be a bargain worthy of Black Friday, considering the Bears gave up just a pair of third-round picks in the off-season to acquire him from the Dolphins. Vikings cornerback Antoine Winfield would probably agree. He had the unenviable task of battle Marshall most of the afternoon.
“Sometimes I thought I was right on him and the ball was (still) getting in there,” Winfield said. “It was frustrating. He’s a big guy. Long arms. I’m 5-9, and he’s trying to hold me off, and I’m trying to get around it. He’s a good player.”
Marshall credited Cutler for fitting the ball into narrow openings that most quarterbacks couldn’t.
“The windows get small sometimes when you go against teams that really know how to play (Cover-2),” Marshall said. “We knew it was going to be small windows. But, when you have a quarterback like Jay Cutler, there is no hole too small. He was throwing some great balls, and putting them in windows most quarterbacks can’t throw into.”
Marshall has 81 receptions and is on pace for 118, which would also top Booker’s franchise record of 100 catches in a single season.
“We come to expect that from him each week, and we should,” Bears coach Lovie Smith said. “He’s hard to cover 1-on-1. But, if you have that commitment to the run (39 carries Sunday), teams have to gang up on the run a little bit, and most of the time Brandon will be in 1-on-1 situations. But a lot of those, he was double-covered.”Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.