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Willie Young earns more time

Tags: jersey
Willie Young earns more time
willie-young-earns-more-time
RISING 1. Willie Young, DE: Young had a strong Bears debut with http://www.officialramsnflshop.com/RAMS-JOHNNY-HEKKER-JERSEY one sack, two tackles-for-loss and one quarterback hit in only 21 snaps at defensive end. That is the definition of production. The original offseason plan called for Young to start at end opposite Lamarr Houston, but the arrival of Jared Allen altered the depth chart. Allen played 53 snaps on Sunday. Houston got 48. Expect Young to receive more playing time moving forward. He earned it. The Bears need Young's fresh legs to augment the veteran defensive line core of Allen, Houston and Jeremiah Ratliff, who also performed well against the Bills to the tune of five tackles. But nobody did more, in fewer snaps, than Young. 2. Matt Forte, RB: Sure, Forte can improve in the blitz pickup department, but he also showed why people consider him to be one of the most versatile tailbacks in the NFL. Forte racked up 169 all-purpose yards in the overtime loss, rushing for 82 yards on 17 carries and catching eight of the nine passes sent his way for 87 yards. Forte can move in the open field. He's not the fastest back in the league, but he does a nice job of running under control and changing direction to avoid defenders. Forte played 70 of the 75 offensive snaps. Expect that to be his normal workload throughout the entire season, unless he suffers an injury. 3. Martellus Bennett, TE: Bennett's been off James Laurinaitis Rams Jersey the radar since he returned from a preseason suspension for brawling with teammate Kyle Fuller in practice, but the tight end came to play in the regular-season opener. Bennett finished with eight receptions on 10 targets for 70 yards and one touchdown. Bennett might be guilty of questionable practice habits, but he is a maximum-effort player on game days. The 6-foot-6, 265-pound tight end is difficult to tackle after he catches the ball. Bennett picks up his share of nagging injuries because of his physical style of play, but he proved last season he is willing to deal with aches and pains. Bennett has missed just four games since he entered the NFL in 2008 with the Dallas Cowboys. Talented and durable. That explains why the Bears signed Bennett to a lucrative four-year deal in the 2013 offseason. FALLING 1. Lance Briggs, LB: Chalk it up as a bad week for Briggs from start to finish. First, the questionable decision to skip Monday's practice (excused or not) to open a restaurant in California, followed by a mediocre performance against Buffalo. Briggs was fooled on C.J. Spiller's 7-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter, then before halftime, the veteran linebacker jumped out of his gap and helped pave the way for Bills tailback Anthony Dixon to gain 47 yards on the ground straight up the gut of the Bears' defense. Briggs finished with three tackles, according the NFL official stat book. That is not consistent with the quality of play Briggs has given to the organization over the past 12 years, which has included seven Pro Bowl selections. The Bears badly need Briggs to bounce back and play well against the 49ers' powerful offense. 2. Jay Cutler, QB: Cutler had moments of http://www.officialramsnflshop.com brilliance in Week 1. He completed 34-of-49 passes for 349 yards and two touchdowns. He even managed to avoid the rush and improvise a handful of times. Impressive stuff. But Cutler turned the ball over twice. The quarterbacks' fourth-quarter pick on third and 1 from the Bills' 34-yard line forever changed the course of the game. If Cutler simply throws the ball away or tries to run for the first down the Bears live to fight another day on fourth down. He cannot give the ball away in that situation. Cutler committed the ultimate football sin. Can he turn it around and protect the ball in Week 2? Bears fans hope so, but the last time Cutler faced the 49ers on the road he tossed zero touchdowns, five interceptions and had a quarterback rating of 33.6. 3. Jared Allen, DE: Allen is accustomed to being the focal point of opposing offenses. That's the price of having 128.5 NFL sacks. The Bills made it tough on Allen. Buffalo chipped Allen for much of the game, but it's fair to expect more from Allen, who has recorded at least 11 sacks in each of the past seven seasons. Allen didn't really stand out in 53 snaps. Maybe he's rusty from limited work in the preseason (one game). But the Bears don't have the luxury of time. Allen needs to give the Bears a return on their investment.

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