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 10 win over the Lions.
CB Charles Tillman — He drew one of the league's most difficult assignments Sunday — covering Lions WR Calvin Johnson — and Tillman had the better day of the two players. Johnson was targeted 19 times, but he made only seven catches for 81 yards, and it was arguably his worst performance of the season. Tillman, a ninth-year veteran, was physical with the Lions' star receiver. He broke up three passes and picked off a throw intended for Johnson, returning it 44 yards for a touchdown.
DE Julius Peppers — He's good even when he's not at the top of his game, but Peppers has been much more disruptive of late than he was early in the season. He had a sack in each of the past two games — the first time he's had sacks in back-to-back games this season — and he's also broken up three passes over the past two games after not breaking up any in the first seven games. Peppers also set the tone vs. the Lions, forcing a fumble, which was recovered by Brian Urlacher, on a big hit against Calvin Johnson. The Bears scored a touchdown four plays later and took an early 7-0 lead.
Bears-Lions rivalry — The bad blood between these two teams was on full display Sunday, as seven personal fouls were called in the game. Jay Cutler's helmet was ripped off by Ndamukong Suh, although no penalty was called, and D.J. Moore and Matthew Stafford locked horns, leading to Moore's ejection and a brawl that left the sidelines close to empty. The animosity between the clubs has been building since last season, when Suh was flagged and fined for a hit on Cutler, and it's probably safe to say both teams will remember Sunday's game when they meet again next season.
Momentum on offense — The Bears didn't need much help from their offense, with the defense and special teams combining to score three touchdowns. With a 34-6 lead early in the third quarter, the offense could afford to play conservatively for much of the game, but the Bears weren't moving the ball very well when the score was still somewhat close. The Bears gained six yards or fewer on seven of their 13 drives and gained a season-low 216 yards.
Offensive line depth — Just when the Bears had finally established some consistency on the O-line, OLG Chris Williams suffered a wrist injury Sunday and was placed on injured reserve Monday after undergoing surgery. He's done for the season, and it's not clear when ORT Gabe Carimi will be available — he hasn't played since Week Two and underwent knee surgery last week. Edwin Williams will step in at left guard for Chris Williams. Lance Louis is playing well at right tackle, and the Bears will likely add another O-lineman to the roster this week, but it hurts to be without two Week One starters in Chris Williams and Carimi.
RB Matt Forté — The Lions focused on limiting Forté and they were successful on all but a couple of runs, holding him to 64 yards rushing on 18 carries (3.6 average) and only one catch for three yards on five targets. He scored the Bears' lone offensive touchdown on a six-yard run in the first quarter and had a 40-yard run in the third quarter, so he was held to 17 carries for 24 yards outside of that long one. His 67 yards from scrimmage are the fewest he's had in a game all season. We're not too down on him, but this wasn't one of the outstanding performances he's racked up on an almost weekly basis this season, and he did have the two costly fumbles last week.
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