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

Tim TebowApr 20 03:52p

Free-agent QB Tim Tebow (Patriots) officially signed a one-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles Monday, April 20. Financial terms were undisclosed.

Adrian WilsonApr 20 07:22a

Free-agent SS Adrian Wilson (Bears) is expected to retire Monday, April 20, and join the Arizona Cardinals coaching staff. The Cardinals, the team Wilson played for from 2001-2012, have announced a press conference.

Tim TebowApr 19 07:42p

Free-agent QB Tim Tebow (Patriots) is expected to sign a contract with the Philadelphia Eagles Monday, April 20.

Stefen WisniewskiApr 18 01:02p

Free-agent C Stefen Wisniewski (Raiders) signed a one-year deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars Saturday, April 18. Financial terms were undisclosed.

Ryan JensenApr 17 05:02p

Baltimore Ravens exclusive rights free-agent TE Phillip Supernaw, SS Brynden Trawick, CB Rashaan Melvin and OT Ryan Jensen re-signed with the team Friday, April 17. Terms of the contracts were not disclosed.

Adrian PetersonApr 17 12:42p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson said earlier this week that he's not sure if he'll participate in the team's offseason program. Minnesota is set to start their offseason workouts [ More ]

Adrian PetersonApr 16 03:02p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson will not receive any further suspension after he is reinstated from the commissioner's exempt list, according to a source.

Adrian PetersonApr 16 02:22p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson has been informed that he will be reinstated from the commissioner exempt list starting Friday, April 17.

Sammy WatkinsApr 15 11:33p

Buffalo Bills WR Sammy Watkins (hip) is able to work out in some capacity during the team's offseason program, although head coach Rex Ryan indicated Wednesday, April 15, that [ More ]

Kai ForbathApr 15 10:53p

Washington Redskins restricted free-agent PK Kai Forbath posted on social media Wednesday, April 15, that he has re-signed with the team. The club has not yet confirmed the signing.

George JohnsonApr 15 08:33a

Detroit Lions DE George Johnson was acquired by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Wednesday, April 15. Tampa signed Johnson to an offer sheet that was disputed by Detroit, but the [ More ]

Philip RiversApr 15 12:13a

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers is under contract for one more season, and he has expressed a desire to play out his deal. However, the Chargers might be [ More ]

Josh GordyApr 14 06:03p

Free-agent CB Josh Gordy (Colts) signed a veteran minimum deal with the New York Giants Tuesday, April 14, according to a source.

Ricardo LocketteApr 14 05:23p

Seattle Seahawks WR Ricardo Lockette signed his exclusive-rights tender Tuesday, April 14.

Ike TaylorApr 14 09:32a

Free-agent CB Ike Taylor (Steelers) announced his retirement Tuesday, April 14.

Wade SmithApr 14 02:12a

Free-agent OG Wade Smith (Eagles) announced his retirement after 12 years in the National Football League.

Michael CrabtreeApr 14 01:13a

The Oakland Raiders are giving free-agent WR Michael Crabtree (49ers) a one-year, $3 million deal with another $2 million in incentives, a source said Monday, April 13.

Eben BrittonApr 14 01:03a

Free-agent OT Eben Britton (Bears) has been suspended four games by the NFL for an unspecified violation.

Matt ForteApr 13 08:02p

Chicago Bears RB Matt Forte was not present for the start of the offseason workouts Monday, April 13, according to sources. Forte is entering the final year of his [ More ]

Cody LatimerApr 13 08:02p

Denver Broncos WR Cody Latimer, who is expected to line up across from WR Demaryius Thomas in 2015, has been praised by WR Emmanuel Sanders, who figures to move [ More ]

Joe MaysApr 13 04:32p

Free-agent LB Joe Mays (Chiefs) signed an undisclosed deal with the New York Jets Monday, April 13.

Zackary BowmanApr 13 02:22p

Free-agent CB Zack Bowman (Giants) signed an undisclosed deal with the Miami Dolphins Monday, April 13.

Sean RichardsonApr 13 02:02p

Green Bay Packers restricted free-agent SS Sean Richardson will remain with the Packers after the team decided to match the one-year, $2.55 million offer he signed with the Oakland Raiders, according to a source.

Sean RichardsonApr 12 10:02a

Green Bay Packers restricted free-agent SS Sean Richardson signed an offer sheet with the Oakland Raiders, and the Packers have until Monday, April 13, to inform him if they [ More ]

Jason CampbellApr 12 07:02a

Free-agent QB Jason Campbell (Bengals) is considering retirement, according to sources close to the team. Campbell has rejected multiple opportunities to sign a contract for 2015, including offers from [ More ]

James CaseyApr 11 01:02p

Free-agent TE James Casey (Eagles) agreed to terms on a one-year deal with the Denver Broncos Saturday, April 11. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Johnny ManzielApr 11 12:22p

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel has been released from his rehab facility.

Victor ButlerApr 10 03:22p

New York Giants LB Victor Butler has been suspended for the first four games of the 2015 season for violating the NFL's policy on performance enhancing drugs.

Anthony SpencerApr 10 01:12p

Free-agent DE Anthony Spencer (Cowboys) signed a one-year deal with the New Orleans Saints Friday, April 10. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Charles TillmanApr 9 04:02p

Free-agent CB Charles Tillman (Bears) signed a one-year deal with the Carolina Panthers Thursday, April 9. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Rob HouslerApr 9 12:42p

Free-agent TE Rob Housler (Cardinals) has agreed to terms with the Cleveland Browns on a one-year deal, according to a source. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Le'Veon BellApr 9 09:52a

Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell was suspended three games and fined an additional game check after violating the league's substance abuse policy, according to league sources. He has appealed.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group