The Chicago Bears lost in Week 6, but their offense took a noticeable step forward during the 37-34, overtime loss. A lot of the Bears' success on that side of the ball had to do with the return of wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, who was back after a four-week absence.
Bears running back Matt Forte commented on the way Jeffery impacts a game, via ESPN's Jeff Dickerson.
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"If you watch the game, he gets us down the field," Forte said. "He is the guy who can stretch the ball down the field -- that downfield threat. We've been dinking and dunking a little bit when he wasn't in there. Marquess Wilson was able to stretch the field a bit too. But Alshon being in there, he was able to catch the ball downfield a lot and open some things up for other guys too in the passing game. So they couldn't just double him and the passing game goes away."
Jeffery and tight end Martellus Bennett each got 11 targets from Bears quarterback Jay Cutler against the Lions. Jeffery caught eight of them, including one jump-ball on a deep heave that resulted in a 45-yard gain. He finished the day with 147 yards and a touchdown.
Chicago's hope for this season may have been crushed by a loss to the previously winless Lions, but Jeffery should definitely be a part of the Bears' long-term plans. The fourth-year wideout is slated to become a free agent in the spring and deserves a new contract.