2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Briggs realizes Bears toeing thin line at 2-0

    2013-09-17 02:32

(With AP Photos.)
By ANDREW SELIGMAN
AP Sports Writer

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) - Lance Briggs understands just how thin a line the Chicago Bears are toeing at the moment.

They could easily be winless rather than unbeaten, and they just might be regrouping from a loss had Jay Cutler not delivered a perfect pass to Martellus Bennett in the closing seconds to beat the Minnesota Vikings 31-30 Sunday.

That came on the heels of a season-opening win over Cincinnati in which they rallied from 11 down in the second half.

That line between 2-0 and 0-2?

``It's minute, very, very small,'' Briggs said on Monday. ``In those critical situations, a guy could just as easily gotten his hand up, come through that line, gotten a sack, disrupted the throw, or the throw be a little to the left or right, and we lose that game.''

The linebacker said the Bears are ``starting to create an identity,'' and resilient is looking like a good description.

That doesn't mean they're a polished bunch. It would help if they got more from their pass rush, starting this week at Pittsburgh, and that largely hinges on a healthy Julius Peppers.

He's been a nonfactor so far and the Bears have just two sacks so far. Peppers sat out some preseason practices because of a hamstring issue, and he was sent home from the Bears' facility last week because of flu symptoms, missing practice on Thursday.

He played against the Vikings, but coach Marc Trestman said he was probably feeling worse than he did in the days leading up to the game.

``I don't know that he had the energy to play as hard as he possibly could play,'' Trestman said. ``I thought he was involved, he ran some plays down, but overall, in his defense I think that he wasn't getting better at the time. He was still not ascending, and he didn't look well to me this morning when I saw him in the meeting as well.''

He said the wet conditions hindered the pass rush and that it will improve with Peppers healthy. That issue aside, there are plenty of positives the Bears can take from the first two games.

Cutler has been sacked just once behind a rebuilt line. The Bears are getting balance in the passing game with Brandon Marshall and Matt Forte at 15 catches and Bennett with 10. Devin Hester - remember him? - re-emerged as a force on kickoff returns, returning five for a team-record 249 yards against Minnesota.

All those were encouraging signs, as was this: The Bears showed again they're at least a resilient bunch even if they're not quite a finished product and that they can pull out games late.

``We've seen a unique team resiliency, an ability to keep our poise, an ability to just move onto the next play without what happened on the last play inhibiting us,'' Trestman said. ``What's exciting now is we have to do it. We don't have the help of our fans, we don't have the help of Soldier Field. We've got to go do it on our own and this will be the first week we'll have a chance to do that.''

Down six after the Vikings' Blair Walsh kicked a 22-yard field goal with just over three minutes left, the Bears didn't flinch. They took over at the 34 and quickly made their move.

Cutler capped the drive with a perfect 16-yard pass to the back shoulder of a twisting Bennett in the end zone with 10 seconds left, and Robbie Gould kicked the go-ahead extra point, keeping Chicago unbeaten and atop the NFC North.

``Our guys are playing smart,'' Trestman said. ``They're playing disciplined. And they're giving themselves a chance to win games in the fourth quarter. That's all you really want to do in the National Football League. You're seldom going to blow anybody out. You're going to have to play four quarters. And every minute counts. If you stay disciplined and stay poised and take care of the ball you've got a chance.''

NOTES: Trestman said Bennett is expected to play this week after bruising his shoulder against the Vikings. He landed hard behind the back of the end zone catching a pass in the second quarter and was in pain after the game. Trestman said Bennett had full range of motion on Monday.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Pierre ThomasOct 30 07:22p

New Orleans Saints RBs Khiry Robinson (forearm) and Pierre Thomas (shoulder) are both inactive in Week 9 against the Carolina Panthers Thursday, Oct. 30.

David HawthorneOct 30 07:12p

The New Orleans Saints have declared LB Austin Johnson, LB David Hawthorne, C Jonathan Goodwin, RB Khiry Robinson, WR Nick Toon, RB Pierre Thomas, CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste inactive for Week 9.

Amini SilatoluOct 30 07:12p

The Carolina Panthers have declared OG Amini Silatolu, CB Bene Benwikere, OT Byron Bell, RB Fozzy Whittaker, WR Philly Brown, FS Thomas DeCoud, OG Trai Turner inactive for Week 9.

Brandon BrownerOct 30 04:32p

New England Patriots DT Alan Branch (non-injury related) and DE Chandler Jones (hip) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. S Nate Ebner (finger), DL Dominique Easley (knee), OL Cameron [ More ]

Brandon ThompsonOct 30 04:22p

Cincinnati Bengals CB Darqueze Dennard (hamstring), LB Rey Maualuga (hamstring) and OG Kevin Zeitler (calf) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. DT Domata Peko (toe) and OT Andre Smith [ More ]

Dwight FreeneyOct 30 04:22p

San Diego Chargers LB Manti Te'o (foot), CB Jason Verrett (shoulder) and S Jahleel Addae (concussion) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. LB Jeremiah Attaochu (hamstring) was limited. CB [ More ]

Donald BrownOct 30 04:12p

San Diego Chargers RB Donald Brown (concussion) practiced fully Thursday, Oct. 30.

Terrell SuggsOct 30 04:02p

Baltimore Ravens WR Michael Campanaro (thigh), CB Jimmy Smith (foot) and LB Terrell Suggs (neck) all did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. OG Marshal Yanda (knee) [ More ]

Brett KeiselOct 30 03:52p

Pittsburgh Steelers DE Brett Keisel (non-injury), SS Troy Polamalu (non-injury) and SS Ross Ventrone (hamstring) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. CB Ike Taylor (forearm) and FS [ More ]

Bruce CarterOct 30 03:22p

Dallas Cowboys LB Bruce Carter (finger) suffered a broken ring finger during practice Thursday, Oct. 30, but expects to play in Week 9. He will wear a splint on his finger for protection.

Cullen JenkinsOct 30 03:12p

New York Giants DT Cullen Jenkins (calf) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (back, hamstring) and P Steve Weatherford (ankle) were both limited in practice.

Brandon BoykinOct 30 03:12p

Philadelphia Eagles FS Nate Allen (hamstring) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. TE Brent Celek (back) and WR Brad Smith (groin) were both limited in practice. CB [ More ]

D'Qwell JacksonOct 30 03:12p

Indianapolis Colts LB D'Qwell Jackson (toe), DT Arthur Jones (ankle), LB Erik Walden (quadriceps) and LB Josh McNary (ankle) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. CB Vontae [ More ]

Rashad JenningsOct 30 02:42p

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (knee) said he is on track in terms of his rehab, but there is no timetable for his return. Jennings said he has [ More ]

Jordan CameronOct 30 02:32p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Anthony CollinsOct 30 02:32p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers OT Oniel Cousins is working at left tackle with the first-team offense during practice Thursday, Oct. 30, because OT Anthony Collins (foot) is sitting out practice.

Doug MartinOct 30 02:22p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Doug Martin (ankle) is not participating in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Jason VerrettOct 30 01:52p

San Diego Chargers CB Jason Verrett (shoulder) is expected to miss two to three weeks with a torn labrum, according to two sources.

DeAngelo WilliamsOct 30 01:52p

Carolina Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams (ankle) will start the team's Week 9 game against the New Orleans Saints Thursday, Oct. 30, according to head coach Ron Rivera.

R. Griffin IIIOct 30 01:42p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) received most of the work with the first-team offense during practice Thursday, Oct. 30, and will start in Week 9 if he [ More ]

Jaylen WatkinsOct 30 01:32p

Philadelphia Eagles SS Earl Wolff, FS Chris Maragos and CB Jaylen Watkins could be options to start at safety if FS Nate Allen (hamstring) is not able to play in Week 9.

Giovani BernardOct 30 01:22p

Cincinnati Bengals RB Giovani Bernard (hip, shoulder) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Tony RomoOct 30 01:02p

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo (back) didn't take part in the walk-through Thursday, Oct. 30, and will not practice with the team. However, head coach Jason Garrett remains hopeful [ More ]

Trent RichardsonOct 30 12:42p

Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson (hamstring) is participating in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Reggie WayneOct 30 12:42p

Indianapolis Colts WR Reggie Wayne (elbow) is not participating in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Tony RomoOct 30 12:22p

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo's (back) status is making head coach Jason Garrett feel optimistic about his availability for Week 9.

Dallas ThomasOct 30 11:43a

Miami Dolphins OG Dallas Thomas would be the most likely candidate to start at left guard if OG Daryn Colledge (illness) is not able to play in Week 9.

Rashad JenningsOct 30 11:12a

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (knee) has been ruled out for Week 9.

Phil BatesOct 30 10:52a

The Cleveland Browns signed free-agent WR Phil Bates (Seahawks) to the practice squad and released CB Marcus Cromartie Thursday, Oct. 30.

Charles SimsOct 30 10:13a

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Charles Sims could have 10 or more touches in Week 9, in the opinion of beat writer Greg Auman.

Ryan MathewsOct 30 09:52a

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (knee) is likely to sit out of the Week 9 game and return after the Week 10 bye.

Dennis PittaOct 30 09:52a

Baltimore Ravens TE Dennis Pitta (hip) may never be able to play football again after two surgeries on a fractured and dislocated hip in as many seasons.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group