GLENDALE, Ariz. — Brandon Marshall needed just 3 yards to break Marcus Robinson’s franchise record of 1,400 receiving yards for a single season, and he got it early in the second quarter on a 30-yard reception.
Marshall was targeted five times before the record-breaking reception and had 2 drops after that.
“I stunk up the field,” Marshall said. “I went up to (quarterback) Jay (Cutler) and apologized and said, ‘I’ll make the play for you next time. Don’t give up on me.’”
Cutler didn’t. Marshall finished with 6 catches for 68 yards, including an 11-yard TD reception. Cutler completed just 12 of 26 passes, finished with a 76.8 passer rating and was critical of his own play, but Marshall accepted most of the blame.
“There may be a few plays that he may want back,” he said of Cutler, “but it was more so on me this game.”
Marshall padded his team record for single-season receptions, which stands at 113 and was formerly held by Marty Booker with 100 in 2001.
Marshall’s 11th TD catch moves him into a tie for sixth with Harlon Hill. He has 1,466 receiving yards. Only New England’s Wes Welker, with five, has more 100-catch seasons than Marshall’s four. Jerry Rice and Marvin Harrison also had four.
Free safety Chris Conte left the game in the third quarter with a hamstring injury and did not return. He was replaced by Anthony Walters.
Matt Forte limped off in the third quarter with an ankle injury and did not return, but he rushed for 88 yards on 12 carries, one of his most efficient games of the season.
Armando Allen (24 yards on 5 carries) stepped in and broke off a 17-yard run on his first carry of the game.
“Great lanes out there,” Forte said. “The offensive line did a great job. When there are running lanes like that, you can make moves in the open field and get extra yards.”
Forte said he would play Sunday at Detroit. Conte is not expected to do so.
By the numbers:
Zack Bowman’s 1-yard fumble return and Charles Tillman’s 10-yard interception return gave the Bears 9 defensive touchdowns, 1 short of the single-season NFL record set by Seattle in 1998.
The Bears have 8 interception-return touchdowns, which ties the Seahawks for second all time, 1 behind the 1961 Chargers.
Home for the holidays:
After he was waived by the Bears on Oct. 15, running back Kahlil Bell spent time with the New York Jets. But he has been more comfortable since Tuesday, when he was re-signed following the season-ending rib injury to Michael Bush.
“I feel like Chicago is my home whether I’m playing here or not,” said Bell, who spent 2009-11 with the Bears. “It’s just a blessing to be back here and be with the fellas and have an opportunity to get into the postseason and do some damage.”
Bell wound up getting 13 carries and picking up 32 yards after Matt Forte left the game with a sprained ankle.
With Jonathan Scott (hamstring) inactive, Gabe Carimi was back at right tackle, where he began the season and started the first 10 games before he was benched in favor of Scott.
The next week Carimi, the 2010 first-round pick, was plugged in at right guard after Lance Louis suffered a season-ending torn ACL against Minnesota. But after three starts at right guard, Carimi lost that job to Chris Spencer, who started there Sunday.
Spencer began the season as the starting left guard but was benched after two games.
Undrafted rookie James Brown got his third straight start at left guard. He was temporarily replaced last week by Edwin Williams but finished the game.
Thanks for the gift:
It wasn’t as ill-advised as Green Bay’s lateral off a punt return from deep in their own end a week ago, but the Cardinals’ questionable special-teams trick play did the Bears a favor.
On fourth-and-10, trailing 14-3 midway through the second quarter, Arizona eschewed a 50-yard FG attempt, even though Feely had hit earlier from 49. This time holder Dave Zastudil pitched the ball to Feely, who was hit almost immediately in the backfield by Charles Tillman.
Feely struggled back to the line of scrimmage but got no farther.Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.