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Bears stock report: Week Nine

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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 Nine win over the Eagles.

Rising

QB Jay Cutler — There were a few passes made Monday night that Cutler would like to have back, but he delivered in the most crucial moments vs. the Eagles. He completed all four of his passes on an early fourth-quarter drive, capping it off with a five-yard touchdown pass to Earl Bennett that gave the Bears a 27-24 lead after they had fallen behind. Cutler, who threw two TDs and no interceptions, did a fine job of avoiding pressure and he made plays when it looked like he had little chance to do so against Philadelphia. He hasn't thrown an interception in three of the past four games.

WR Earl Bennett — After missing the previous five games while recovering from a chest injury he suffered in Week Two, Bennett returned Monday night vs. the Eagles and made a team-high five catches for 95 yards and a TD. Jay Cutler was obviously thrilled to have his favorite target back, and the college teammates at Vanderbilt were clicking from the start. Chicago's offense is much better off when Bennett is playing.

Offensive line — For just the second time since Cutler was acquired before the 2009 season, Chicago's offensive line kept him from being sacked. The much-maligned Bears blockers put together one of their best performances in recent memory against a talented group of Eagles pass rushers. Chicago has allowed only three sacks in the past three games. RB Matt Forté, who rushed for 133 yards, had some wide holes to run through, too, thanks to the blocking up front.

Falling

NT Anthony Adams — Lovie Smith said last week that Adams needs to play better, and he sent an even stronger message on Monday night, deactivating Adams, who had started in each of the two games before the bye. The Bears used Matt Toeaina, who returned from injury after missing the previous two games, and Stephen Paea at nose tackle against Philadelphia, and it appears Adams will have to compete in practice to show Smith he needs him on game day.

WR Dane Sanzenbacher — He still leads the team in touchdown catches (three), but Sanzenbacher failed to make a catch against the Eagles. It was the first time this season he went without a reception. Cutler targeted the undrafted rookie twice, and Sanzenbacher let one pass go through his hands and fall to the ground, which drew a stern look and a few choice words from the quarterback. With Bennett back in the fold, Sanzenbacher's role is declining.

Gabe Carimi's chances of regaining a starting job any time soon — Carimi fully participated in practice last Thursday but was held out of practice Friday and Saturday and was inactive for a sixth straight game Monday as he recovers from a right knee subluxation. Offensive line coach Mike Tice has called Carimi the Bears' best offensive lineman, but the team is very happy with Lance Louis at right tackle and Chris Spencer at right guard for the time being. There's no sense of urgency to get Carimi back on the field.

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