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Bears stock report: Week Two

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Dan Parr

dparr@pfwmedia.com
Associate editor

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By Dan Parr

PFW associate editor Dan Parr gives his stock analysis of the Bears and identifies who, or what, is on the rise or decline following their Week Two loss to the Saints.

Rising

RB Matt Forté — One of the few bright spots for the Bears Sunday, Forté led the team in rushing and receiving for the second week in a row. Forté, who is seeking a contract extension, accounted for more than two-thirds of Chicago's total yards vs. the Saints, and he probably should have had more than the 20 touches the Bears gave him, although he had an effective carry on only one of his 10 rushes — 42 of his 49 rushing yards came on one carry.

PK Robbie Gould and P Adam Podlesh — The Bears' specialists have been very solid through two games. Gould actually has been perfect on field goals, making all five of his attempts, including two Sunday, and he's keeping kickoff returners at bay for the most part. Seven of his 10 kickoffs have resulted in touchbacks and the average return against him is only 19 yards. Only one punter has made more punts than Podlesh, who had eight of them on Sunday, and the average return against Podlesh is only 2.2 yards.

WR Dane Sanzenbacher — Sanzenbacher had one of the few highlights for the Bears Sunday, scoring the team's lone touchdown. He dropped a pass on third down that would have given the Bears a first down in the third quarter, so it was far from a flawless performance, but the Bears are giving him a lot of playing time and he was a long shot to even make the team as an undrafted free agent. Sanzenbacher was actually targeted one more time (seven) than Johnny Knox was (six) vs. New Orleans. Through two weeks, Sanzenbacker has as many catches as Devin Hester and Roy Williams (four).

Falling

Offensive line — Aside from one long Forté run, the front five failed to clear holes and it was overmatched against the Saints' blitz-heavy defense. New Orleans' swarming pass rushers sacked Jay Cutler six times and they were credited with 10 hits on him, although it seemed like even more, and the Bears may have lost first-round pick ORT Gabe Carimi for the forseeable future. He left the game in the second quarter, did not return and reports indicate he suffered a dislocated right kneecap. It's a concern for a team that had to play with a completely different right side of the O-line than it opened the season with one week ago. ORG Lance Louis suffered an ankle sprain in the second quarter of Week One and hasn't returned. Chris Spencer and Frank Omiyale could start at the ORG and ORT spots, respectively, vs. Green Bay.

Offensive coordinator Mike Martz — Things started off pretty well for Martz and the offense, but he completely abandoned a fundamental principle for this team — keeping a balance between the pass and run — after the first quarter. Forté had three carries in the final three quarters and the Bears had two rushing attempts — one carry to Forté and one to RB Kahlil Bell — in the second half. It's true that the running game was sputtering for the most part, but throwing over and over again played right into the Saints' hands. The game was still close in the second and third quarters, so there no need to become one-dimensional. With no threat of a running game, New Orleans teed off on Cutler. The Bears need to block better, but Martz can't get pass-happy. This team isn't built for that.

DT Henry Melton — After his outstanding performance in Week One, Melton vanished against the Saints. He literally disappeared from the stat sheet and wasn't credited with so much as a tackle or a hit on Drew Brees after racking up two sacks and seven QB hits vs. the Falcons. It was a bad day for the defensive line as a whole, but Melton was particularly quiet against a very good Saints interior O-line.

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