Chicago Bears Countdown to Kickoff: 15 Days with Brandon Marshall

Chicago Bears, Brandon Marshall
Chicago Bears, Brandon Marshall / Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
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Chicago Bears, Brandon Marshall
Chicago Bears, Brandon Marshall / Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Pro Bowler Brandon Marshall reunites with Cutler as Chicago Bears

Despite being one of the league's top receivers, Marshall was traded after just four seasons in Denver, but new surroundings didn't affect the UCF standout's production. In two seasons in Miami, Marshall finished with over 2,200 yards and nine touchdowns on 167 receptions. After making the Pro Bowl in 2011, the Miami Dolphins once again shopped the star receiver and traded the player to the Chicago Bears ahead of the 2012 season.

With the Bears, Marshall was able to reunite with quarterback Jay Cutler. The two played together in their early seasons in Denver and with great statistical success. After three seasons away from one another, Marshall arrived in Chicago and joined a talented group of offensive weapons including Alshon Jeffery, Matt Forte, and Devin Hester. With a loaded defense led by Brian Urlacher, Charles Tillman, Lance Briggs, and Julius Peppers, the Chicago Bears entered the 2012 season as perhaps one of the league's more well-rounded rosters.

The team went on to record a strong 10-6 record, although they missed the playoffs in what would be Lovie Smith's final season as head coach. Despite missing the postseason, Marshall was one of many players on the team who excelled, and he finished the season with over 1,500 yards through the air, 11 touchdowns, and nearly 120 receptions. He was also able to lead the team in receiving yards throughout the year en route to being chosen for his fourth Pro Bowl. Additionally, Marshall was named a First-Team All-Pro player after the regular season.

Marshall had a similarly productive 2013 season, although the team's record dropped to 8-8. Marshall again posted 100 receptions throughout the year, racking up 1,295 yards and 13 touchdowns. He was named to the Pro Bowl for a third consecutive season, and his second as a Bear. However, Marshall was not the team's leading receiver in yardage during the year, that honor went to Alshon Jeffery.

By the following year, Marshall's role in the offense changed slightly in relation to Jeffery's breakout season. The UCF star, who often attracted multiple defensive backs, was used more as a jump ball threat in single coverage, while Jeffery and Forte would rack up more consistent yards between the 20-yard lines.

Nonetheless, Marshall played well in 2014, despite missing three games due to an ankle injury. In 13 games, he contributed over 700 yards and eight touchdowns. Marshall struggled statistically when compared to his previous totals, but he was still a dominant threat throughout the year.

His best game of the season, and perhaps of his Chicago Bears career, came in his first game post-injury. Against the San Francisco 49ers, Marshall hauled in three touchdowns, including two in the fourth quarter, to help the Bears seal a 17-7 halftime comeback. The receiver racked up 48 yards throughout the game, making him one of less than 20 NFL players ever to have scored three or more touchdowns on less than 50 receiving yards.