Despite not making the playoffs, the Bears ended up with 5 players in the Pro Bowl. Instead of an honor it feels more like a slap in the face that the Bears had that much talent and could only manage 8 wins. Oh well, wait till next year (yes, I’m a Cub fan). Seriously though, all 5 Bears that played in the Pro Bowl will be back next year so they have some talent to build on.
This year’s Pro Bowl was far more competitive than last year’s debacle with both teams giving a good effort for most of the game. There were even a handful of vicious hits, which I have never seen in a Pro Bowl before. It looked like the players were legitimately trying to win which is a nice change from last year when clearly no one gave a crap what happened in the game. None of the Bears were voted in as starters, but they all played considerable minutes and had an impact on the game. Here is a recap of how the Bears players did in Team Rice’s 22-21 victory.
Matt Forte – Was the leading rusher on Team Rice with 6 carries for 31 yards (5.2 ypc) and a long of 11 yards. Forte also caught 3 passes for 24 yards giving him 55 total yards on the day. A pretty good showing and a well deserved Pro Bowl nomination.
Brandon Marshall – Not B-Marsh’s best game as he only caught 1 of the 5 passes thrown his way. It was a catch for 21 yards at least. Marshall was mic’d up for the game and was more entertaining off the field than on it.
Alshon Jeffery – Playing in his first Pro Bowl as an injury replacement for Calvin Johnson, Jeffery had 2 catches for 22 yards on 5 targets. One of those targets was a lob in the end zone by Drew Brees that Jeffery caught but was ruled out of bounds. It’s a play fans saw a lot of last season and should see plenty more of in the years to come. If he stays healthy (knock on wood), this won’t be Jeffery’s last Pro Bowl.
Tim Jennings – Another injury replacement (Richard Sherman), this was Jennings 2nd consecutive Pro Bowl. He played well in coverage and made three tackles against the run.
Kyle Long: Yet another injury replacement (Mike Iupati), Long is the first Bears offensive lineman to make the Pro Bowl since 2006 (Kruetz, R. Brown) and the first non-specialist since Brian Urlacher in 2000. Long played and made a key block on Cam Netwon’s 1 YD TD run. Hopefully this is the first of many Pro Bowls for Long.