With new coaches and new schemes there are bound to be hiccups for a team during a season. The Chicago Bears hit their first one in week four on a frustrating afternoon in Detroit. How did the performance shake up the outlook of the 2014 NFL free agency period?
Charles Tillman – Stock: Up
There really wasn’t a lot to love about the Bears defense in week four. They weren’t helped much by the offense until it was too late but there was a bright spot. Aside from a red zone touchdown, Charles Tillman once again made Detroit Lions All-Pro receiver Calvin Johnson largely irrelevant. “Megatron” finished the game with just 44 yards, an impressive feat for Tillman considering he was battling knee and groin injuries. Despite being 32-years old he once again proved he can hang with the best in the NFL and is an integral part of the defense’s success.
Henry Melton – Stock: Down
It was really a double whammy for Henry Melton on the contract front. Not only was he not playing like the Pro Bowler he was in 2012, but his grand hopes for cashing in on a franchise tag season were dashed when he tore his ACL in week three at Pittsburgh. Chicago certainly missed him in Detroit but how much is unclear. The bottom line is that Melton isn’t going to get that lucrative deal he wanted and probably not even the one the Bears were offering at the end of last season. It’s unfortunate, but such is risk he took by not signing sooner.
Jay Cutler – Stock: Down
Fans wish they could say they were surprised but just when it seems like Jay Cutler is turning a corner he lays down a cringe-worthy performance that gets his team beat, the cardinal sin of a quarterback. He finished the Detroit game with three interceptions and a lost fumble, pushing his overall turnover total to eight on the year. He did have 317 passing yards and two touchdowns in the game but it doesn’t change the fact. Cutler can’t keep himself under control when things go wrong. He starts either making bad decision, or in the case of the Lions game, simply throwing bad passes. The Chicago Bears are still 3-1. Two of their next three games are at home and two of the games are against teams with a combined 1-7 record. Jay needs to play better, or his hopes for a new contract are done.