Alshon Jeffery: What We Learned About Bears' WR in Week 1

Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent ISeptember 10, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 09: Alshon Jeffery #17 of the Chicago Bears participates in warm-ups before a preseason game against the Denver Broncos at Soldier Field on August 9, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. The Broncos defeated the Bears 31-3.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Chicago Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery had a brilliant opening-week performance against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.

The rookie out of South Carolina was targeted five times and caught three passes for 80 yards and a touchdown before it was all said and done.

Surely the Bears are loving one of their second-round draft picks after the first Sunday of the 2012 NFL season.

Here's what we learned about Alshon Jeffery in Week 1. 


Big-Play Threat

As evidenced by Jeffery's 42-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter on Sunday, the rookie is the Bears' best big-play threat in 2012.

Jeffery averaged 26.7 yards per catch against Indy, a number that will no doubt decrease over the course of the season. But only by a little, as his 6'3" frame gives him a tremendous downfield advantage over opposing secondaries.

He won't be catching 42-yard TD passes every week, but he will force defenses to respect him when he breaks downfield. And that's a problem for opponents when he's lining up opposite of another big-play threat in Brandon Marshall


He Will Be the No. 2 in No Time

Bears quarterback Jay Cutler targeted Alshon Jeffery five times in Sunday's win over the Colts. Only No. 1 receiver Brandon Marshall had more targets among Chicago's WRs. 

Based on Jeffery's strong play and massive output in his first career game, it's safe to say that he will become Cutler's No. 2 receiving option in no time. 

Also it's worth pointing out that the Bears did not have a single pass-catcher surpass 730 receiving yards in 2011. The No. 2 spot is Jeffery's to lose this fall.

He has all of the physical attributes necessary to develop into an elite NFL wide receiver. And, he proved in Week 1 that he can showcase those unique talents on the sport's biggest stage.

It would be premature to crown Alshon Jeffery the next big thing, but it's appropriate to believe that he has a limitless ceiling with the Bears. 


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