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Postseason Positional Analysis Part III: Wide Receivers

| January 12th, 2016

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If the Bears can ever get — and stay — healthy at the wide receiver position, their offense should really take off. Their top four receivers missed a combined 36 games, with the only one playing over half their snaps being Marquess Wilson. Youngers players stepped up and made plays but the position, expected to be a strength, ended up being a weakness.

ALSHON

If you took the numbers Alshon Jeffery put up in 8 1/2 games this season and calculated them out to a 16-game total, you see a star. The numbers are roughly 102 catches, 1,520 yards and eight touchdowns. Looks great, but you can’t give him credit for 16 games when he doesn’t play 16 games. Injuries are his biggest problem and there’s no reason to think they will go away. So how do the Bears assign him a value?

By not signing Jeffery before the season, the Bears made it clear they didn’t view him as an elite receiver. As good as he was at times, it’s hard to say he did anything to increase his value. The Bears can’t let Jeffery hit the open market, however, because someone else will offer him top-tier receiver money and Chicago doesn’t have a replacement. Whether it be with the Franchise Tag or a long-term contract, the Bears need to bring Jeffery back.

WHITE

We don’t know what Kevin White is. We think he’s a stud and when we hear Ryan Pace say he can’t wait to “unleash” him, it makes us believe that even more. Still, he’s going to be raw and nobody has a clue what kind of long-term effects the leg injury might have on him.

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Across The Middle With Andrew Dannehy

| December 9th, 2015

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• The loss to the 49ers was flat out Trestmanesque and absolutely unacceptable. I’m not mad because they lost. I’m mad because their performance, regardless of the outcome, was not acceptable. Coming off of a big win with extra time to rest and prepare against a bad West Coast team playing a noon game, there was absolutely no reason for that game to have even been close, much less a loss. As much credit as we all gave John Fox after the win over the Packers, he deserves a ton of blame for this loss. He didn’t have his team focused and ready to go.

• I get that Robbie Gould is the whipping boy. He has to make that kick, but I  also don’t really care that he missed it. They didn’t deserve to win. That said, I don’t put 100 percent of the blame for the miss on Gould. Look at the last two attempts, both of the snaps were awful (more on that later). So, lining up for a game-winner he’s thinking about where the snap is going to be and if Pat O’Donnell can even get it down for him to kick it in addition to doing his job. He still has to make the kick and that’s no excuse, but he didn’t lose the game. They were asking him to win one that they really had no business winning.

• Gould certainly isn’t as much to blame for the loss as Adrian Amos. Nobody cares if he thought Gabbert was going to slide, hit him anyway. A penalty there doesn’t lose the game. Then, in overtime, everybody else on the defense knew what the 49ers were doing, what was Amos thinking? He’s been awesome this year, but that was a horrendous game.

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