Bears stock report: Week 16

Posted Dec. 27, 2011 @ 8:31 p.m.
Posted 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 16 loss to the Packers.

Rising

Josh McCown — For a guy making his first start in four years, McCown fared well against the Packers. The Bears gained a season-high 441 yards, and he earned himself another start in Week 17 vs. the Vikings. He's making a case that he deserves a backup job somewhere in the league, which is more than he could say a couple of weeks ago.

Kahlil Bell — No Marion Barber, no problem. With Matt Forté still out recovering from an MCL sprain and Barber sidelined by a calf injury, Bell had a career day against Green Bay, rushing for 121 yards on 23 carries and making four catches for 38 yards. He fumbled twice, including once on the goal line (it was recovered by Bears OG Edwin Williams for a TD), and has to do a better job of taking care of the ball, but Bell is turning a lot of heads around the league.

Defensive breakdowns — The Bears allowed the Seahawks to score a season-high 38 points in Week 15, and while the Bears' defense didn't play well in the second half of that game, two of Seattle's touchdowns were defensive scores. You couldn't pin all the blame on the defense. It was a different story against Green Bay. Aaron Rodgers torched the secondary, completing three passes for 30 yards or longer, including a 55-yard touchdown pass to WR Jordy Nelson. He threw five TDs by the time three seconds had run off the clock in the fourth quarter. The Bears' defense had no answer for him.

Falling

Pass rush — Much of the talk heading into the Bears' meeting with the Packers was focused on Green Bay's banged-up offensive line and the advantage the Bears would supposedly have in pass-rushing situations. Turns out the Packers were ready for whatever the Bears wanted to throw at them. Aaron Rodgers wasn't sacked in the game, and Chicago was credited with only two QB hits.

Zack Bowman — Rodgers picked on Bowman repeatedly Sunday and was rewarded for doing so. The ineffective pass rush didn't do Bowman and the other defensive backs any favors, but the Bears were hoping to see a better performance than the one offered by Bowman, who had replaced Tim Jennings in the starting lineup. As Bowman prepares to become a free agent, he didn't do anything to help his stock.

Major Wright — Wright returned in Week 16 after missing the previous game with an injury, and he was promptly burned on the 55-yard touchdown pass to Nelson, which was the Packers' longest play of the night. Wright bit on a fake from Nelson and had no chance to stop the wideout once he made that mistake. Wright is still only in his second season, but errors like that one make you wonder when, or if, he's going to figure it out.

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