DETROIT - DECEMBER 05: Earl Bennett #80 of the Chicago Bears catches a 12 yard pass for a first down as Louis Delmas #26 of the Detroit Lions makes the stop during the game at Ford Field on December 5 2010 in Detroit Michigan. The Bears defeated the Lions 24-20. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
It has become quite clear that anytime the Bears are in an offensive situation in which they have to make a play, Earl Bennett will not only be on the field, but will possibly will be the first place the QB looks after the snap. Just two seasons removed from a rookie year in which he caught exactly zero passes, Earl Bennett is becoming QB Jay Cutler's go-to guy in 2010's Martzfense, and yesterday he registered his first ever 100-yard performance.
Bennett is not the tallest guy on the field (6'0), nor is he the fastest (4.5 speed), but he undoubtedly has the best hands of any of the Bears WRs, and has been steadily improving in his route-running since the first of the season. Add to that the fact that Bennett is suddenly a fighter (how many times did the Lions defense have trouble bringing him down after a catch?), we may be seeing a living, breathing example of talent development right before our very eyes. And that is saying something, considering Jay Cutler doesn't exactly always deliver an easily-catchable football.
So, for this week's game ball, it is a pretty easy choice. On eight targets, Bennett had 7 catches for 104 yards, for a 14.9 yard per catch average. He didn't find the end zone, but a few of his catches directly lead to scoring plays by the offense. Congratulations, Mr. Bennett!
Some recap links after the jump.
John 'Moon' Mullin hands out his grades from the game yesterday.
Jim Miller provides his analysis on QB Jay Cutler's performance.
Brad Biggs reports that Lovie Smith got angry and yelled at his players in the locker room.
David Haugh brings us some quotes from the players after the game.
Dan Pompei says that little DJ Moore came up big for the defense.
Rick Morrissey provides his thoughts in the way only Rick Morrissey can.
Rick Telander chimes in about the penalty against Suh.
Sean Jensen says that Tim Jennings called a quick meeting in the last defensive series.
Kevin Seifert says Cutler reminded him of Christian Laettner, or something like that.
Seifert also says that, regardless of whether Cutler was hit in the head, Suh did not need to throw an elbow to make the tackle.
Nick Roach's hip injury doesn't appear to be significant.
Oh, and an honorable mention to tackling machine Brian Urlacher for the Game Ball... 17 tackles - are you kidding me?
Your morning-after thoughts on things?