Another big Jeffery catch in big situation for Bears
CLEVELAND -- Just a few minutes into the fourth quarter, with the Bears trailing 24-17, Browns safety Tashaun Gipson and cornerback Tashaun Posey waited near the Cleveland goal line along with Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery. They were waiting for a Jay Cutler pass that looked more like a punt to come down.
Bears coach Marc Trestman was asked what he was thinking at the time.
"Alshon's going to jump over them," Trestman said. "You're just hoping."
It was more like Jeffery, who was bracketed by the Browns defenders, slipped between them and made a better adjustment to the ball that plummeted toward them all like a wounded duck.
It was just the latest in what recently has become Jeffery's highlight-reel catch of the day, and it went for a 45-yard TD that sent the Bears on their way to a 38-31 victory.
"We always talk about just throwing it up and giving me a chance," Jeffery said. "I'm just thinking, 'make a play.' I make my quarterback look good, and he makes me look good."
Jeffery had 3 TD catches in the previous two games, 2 of which were of the spectacular variety.
"It's not up there with the last two," said fellow wide receiver Brandon Marshall of Jeffery's latest big-time touchdown catch. "I ran a shorter route and, if they suck up on me, we were going to throw it over the top. If they take Alshon, which they did, we were going to hit me.
"Jay got hit and it seemed like it was short, and I was like, 'Oh, man, this is going to be an interception.' But the corner didn't get his head around and I thought, 'All right, incomplete.' Alshon somehow came up with it. He's the man."
Marshall (6 catches for 95 yards) and Jeffery (5 catches, 72 yards) reclaimed the title as the NFL's most productive duo, which they briefly lost to the Denver Broncos' Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker, who played Thursday night.
Jeffery (1,265 yards on 80 catches) and Marshall (1,185 yards on 90 catches) have combined for 2,450 yards. Thomas and combined for 87 yards Thursday, giving them 2,324.
Marshall also had a TD Sunday, a 5-yard grab, and his 41-yard reception on Pro Bowl cornerback Joe Haden set up the Bears' first touchdown, just before halftime.
"It was the pressure from Alshon," Marshall joked. "I'm trying to keep up with him. It's been weeks since I made a nice catch. I've been playing consistent, but I can't let the youngster outdo me. He's doing it right now, and that was just my one shot of trying to keep up with him."