Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Too Much to Bear

Shout out to Johnny Knox and Danieal Manning for leading the Chicago Bears to within one game of the Super Bowl. The Bears fell in the NFC Championship, 21-14, to Green Bay.

Knox had 2 catches for 56 yards and what should have been a touchdown. He was ruled out at the 1, even though replays showed he clearly crossed the goal line in bounds. The Bears scored one play later, which was all Knox cared about as an ultimate team player. (ACU fans, namely me, didn't take it so well.)

Knox also got clobbered by a defensive back on Sam Shields' game-ending interception inside the Packers' 15 with under a minute to play.

Manning had 6 tackles, 5 of them solo and 1 for a loss as the Bears' defense stiffened in the second half and gave the team a chance to win with third string quarterback Caleb Hanie.

Knox's second NFL season saw him become a starting wide receiver and finish 5th in the NFL in yards per catch at 18.8. Knox led the Bears with 960 receiving yards (21st in the NFL). He was tied for the team lead with 51 receptions and 5 touchdowns caught and also averaged 22.8 yards on the 8 kicks he returned.

These next few months will be interesting for Manning, who becomes a free agent in the midst of unrest between NFL players and owners. In his fifth season in the league, Manning finished as the Bears' fourth leading tackler with 72 and had an interception. He also led the team with 33 kickoff returns, the longest of which was 62 yards, for a 24.7 yard average per return (14th in the NFL). Stay tuned.

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