WR Earl Bennett - Free Agent
|5-11, 209||Born: 3-23-1987||College: Vanderbilt||Drafted: Round 3, pick 2008|
2013 Week 1 vs CIN (1 / 1 / 6 / 0 rec)
Earl Bennett saw very limited action when the Bears were running three wide receiver sets, or when Alshon Jeffery or Brandon Marshall were taking a breather. He had only 1 target and catch for the day - a quick six yard slant on the opening drive of the third quarter.
2013 Week 2 vs MIN (2 / 2 / 19 / 0 rec)
Earl Bennett saw more playing time, but was not really involved in the offense. He had one nice catch late in the second quarter for 16 yards and another short curl for 3 yards at the end of the third.
2013 Week 3 vs PIT (3 / 2 / 22 / 1 rec)
Earl Bennett had just two catches on the day, but the second one was a big one. The Bears watched their 21 point lead dwindle down to just four points when the Steelers kicked a field goal to open the 4th quarter. Jay Cutler led the Bears down to the Pittsburgh 17 with two key third down conversions and they were facing 3rd and 5 again. From the shotgun formation, Cutler launched a perfect throw to Bennett's outside shoulder. The play was initially ruled incomplete, but after the Bears challenged the call, you could see from the replay that Bennett dragged his toe. It pushed the Bears back to a 10 point lead and crushed the hopes of any comeback from the Steelers.
2013 Week 4 vs DET (4 / 2 / 19 / 1 rec)
Earl Bennett's only action came during garbage time in the 4th quarter then the Bears were down by 24 points with less than five minutes to play. Bennett also had a 27 yard catch on a crossing route in the third quarter but it was called back for an illegal hands to the face penalty on the Chicago offensive line. On the play before the touchdown, Bennett was targeted by a pass from Jay Cutler just before the end zone, but it was tipped at the line and Bennett couldn't come up with it. He was flagged for offensive pass interference on the play but it was picked up due to the tip. On the next play, Cutler was under pressure, scrambled and threw a nice pass to Bennett who had come back to the pylon and was standing in the corner of the end zone. He made the catch, giving Chicago a slim chance of making a comeback.
2013 Week 5 vs NO (3 / 1 / 14 / 0 rec)
Earl Bennett was involved in several key plays for Chicago in this game, but neither will appear on the stat sheet for him. In the second quarter, he ran a crossing route with Alshon Jeffery on the goal line and when the defenders ran into each other, Jeffery was able to come free and Jay Cutler hit him with a nice pass. In the fourth quarter, Bennett was targeted on a critical 4th and 2. The Bears were down by two scores and needed to push for the touchdown. Bennett ran an inside-out route and had enough separation and distance to get the first down. Jay Cutler threw the ball perfectly but Bennett took his eyes off the ball and it hit him in the facemask and bounced incomplete.
2013 Week 6 vs NYG (2 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Earl Bennett was definitely on the field, and even saw a couple target passes thrown his way. In fact, at the end of the first half, Jay Cutler targeted Bennett in the end zone on his final pass of the half. But the pass was overthrown and fell incomplete. Cutler also targeted him late in the fourth quarter on a sideline route, but the ball was off target and Bennett couldn't stay in bounds and make the catch.
2013 Week 7 vs WAS (4 / 3 / 24 / 0 rec)
Earl Bennett didn't have a catch until late in the third quarter. His first catch was a quick screen where Bennett broke down the right side of the field after the catch for nine yards. His next reception was a quick slant pass from Josh McCown there Bennett was hit hard, but held on to the ball for a gain of eight. On the next play, Matt Forte took the ball 50 yards for a touchdown. On 3rd and 6 as the Bears began the 4th quarter, Bennett caught his final pass - a medium square in that was good for seven yards and a 1st down. Bennett had a TD late in the game called back because he lined up on the line of scrimmage with the TE and the Bears were flagged for an illegal formation. Martellus Bennett scored just two plays later.
2013 Week 10 vs DET (3 / 2 / 10 / 0 rec)
Earl Bennett played most of the game as the WR3, but has very few looks in his direction. He finished the game with just two catches, a short two yarder in second quarter and an eight yard dump on the final drive of the game. On that play, he caught a short screen and scampered up the left sideline for eight yards, but the Lions drew a 15 yard penalty for roughing the passer, making the play a big 23 yard gain.
2013 Week 11 vs BAL (1 / 1 / 1 / 0 rec)
Earl Bennett had one catch in this game - a short pass in the first quarter where he was forced out of bounds after only a one yard gain.
2013 Week 12 vs STL (8 / 8 / 58 / 0 rec)
Earl Bennett had a career game against the Rams, coming up with eight receptions on eight targets. However, only the last one was for any serious length - a 17 yard catch and run where Josh McCown was under pressure, scrambled and hit found Bennett wide open for a nice catch and run. It was Bennett's third consecutive catch, keeping the Bears comeback hopes alive. However, McCown fumbled on the next play and the Ram recovered it and returned it for a touchdown, ending any hope that the Bears would come back. Earlier in the quarter, Bennett drew a pass interference in the end zone which set up Chicago at 1st and goal from the 1, where there were able to plunge it in eight plays later.
2013 Week 13 vs MIN (3 / 2 / 17 / 0 rec)
Earl Bennett had only two catches in this game and neither were of any significance. The first one came late in the second quarter, and although it was for a big 16 yard gain, it was on third down and 18, and the Vikings simply didn't cover him. He lined up in the slot and ran straight down the right hashmark. Josh McCown put the ball on him and he was tackled by the safety short of the first down. His only other catch came as the game was winding down - a short pass to the left flat where he was turned around, caught the ball and fell backwards for only a two yard gain, but he did not get out of bounds and the Bears had to use a timeout to stop the clock.
2013 Week 14 vs DAL (2 / 2 / 18 / 1 rec)
Earl Bennett has been the forgotten man in Chicago's offense this season. But it was the Cowboys that forgot him on third and goal from the four yard line. Bennett lined up in the left slot and the defense left him completely alone. He ran to the end zone, turned around and there wasn't a defender within three yards of him. Josh McCown flipped him the ball for the easy score. Bennett converted another third down for the Bears in the third quarter. On third and nine, he ran a square in over the middle about seven yards beyond the line of scrimmage. McCown dumped him the ball and he spun away from the defender, running up field for a 14 yard gain and another first down.
2013 Week 15 vs CLE (4 / 4 / 23 / 1 rec)
Earl Bennett caught every pass that he was thrown in this game, and most of them were short check-down type of passes. His best catch happened with five minutes left in the 4th quarter, a short four yard TD catch. Bennett lined up in the slot, arm checked his defender and ran four yards to the goal line and turned around. Jay Cutler hit him with a tight spiral and despite being well defended; Bennett made the catch and scored.
2013 Week 16 vs PHI (3 / 2 / 12 / 0 rec)
Bennett had one catch just during the first 3 quarters - a desperation pass where Jay Cutler had no other options. Bennett was tackled for no gain. He added a two point conversion reception after the only Chicago touchdown - a short slant route from the slot where the defense left him completely uncovered and he was wide open. He was the target of the pick-six that Cutler threw for his last pass of the game, and Bennett added a meaningless 12 yard reception late in the 4th quarter when the Bears were down by 43 points.
2012 Week 1 vs IND (4 / 3 / 50 / 0 rec)
Bennett finished the game with three receptions, but the third was nearly a touchdown. On the play, Bennett ran a square in and Cutler had a ton of time to throw the ball. He hit Bennett over the middle and he juked and twisted toward the goal line before being dragged down at the one. He was awarded the TD, but the replay clearly showed he was tackled just before the goal line. He finished the game with three receptions for 50 yards. For the Bears, Bennett, this is what you can kind of expect going forward. He's not the go-to guy, but Cutler will definitely get him the ball, especially if Marshall is drawing double and triple coverage. Bennett will be a key component for the Bears this season.
2012 Week 2 vs GB (6 / 2 / 21 / 0 rec)
Bennett's biggest contribution to the game may have been that he was the guy that was the target of three of Cutler's four interceptions on the day. Bennett's first catch was in the second quarter, after the Packers had gone up 3-0. The Packers blitzed on the play, but Cutler was able to get the ball to Bennett in the flat for a nice 10 yard gain. On the next series, Cutler hit Bennett on a sideline route, but he wasn't able to keep both feet in bounds and it was ruled incomplete. A few plays later, Cutler's pass to Bennett was picked off when Tramon Williams jumped the route for the pick. In the third quarter, Cutler was under pressure again, but saw that Bennett was open down the field. Cutler threw him the ball, but the velocity wasn't there and Bennett should have come back for the ball. Instead, he waited for it to come to him and Charles Woodson had time to adjust and make the pick. Bennett had a reception on an 11 yard curl in the 4th quarter, but the drive ended without any points. On Chicago's final play of the game, Cutler again looked to Bennett on a short come-back route but McMillian jumped the route and made the interception, ending the game.
2012 Week 3 vs STL (4 / 1 / 11 / 0 rec)
Bennett was targeted several times on the day by Jay Cutler, but he finished the day with just one reception for 11 yards. It was a short check-down for 11 yards on 3rd and 14 and the Bears had to punt. Bennett had one pass broken up in the first quarter, and his other two targets were poorly thrown balls by Jay Cutler. Bennett is really only seeing action in 4 WR sets now, as Devin Hester and Alshon Jeffery share the #2 and #3 slots opposite Brandon Marshall.
2012 Week 7 vs DET (6 / 3 / 27 / 0 rec)
Earl Bennett got the start this week with Alshon Jeffery out with a broken hand. It was Bennett's first action in several weeks, and he responded well with the few targets that he had. Bennett's first catch was a quick dump from Cutler after the snap in the first quarter. The ball was thrown very low, but Bennett scooped it up before it hit the ground. Unfortunately the Lions had time to adjust and dropped Bennett for no gain. Cutler went back to Bennett on the next play - a square in on 3rd and 10 where Bennett made a nice catch for a big 15 yard gain and a 1st down. Bennett's only other catch was another 12 yard curl late in the third quarter for a first down. He was targeted on a floater a few plays later, but Cutler was hit as he threw it and the ball fell incomplete. Bennett also saw time as a punt returner at a couple points during the middle portion of the game, but he wasn't effective and the Bears eventually replaced him with Eric Weems.
2012 Week 8 vs CAR (4 / 3 / 47 / 0 rec)
Bennett was invisible in the first half, a combination of solid coverage and Jay Cutler's early game struggles. In fact it wasn't until the end of the third quarter that he became a factor as he caught two passes, both for first downs. He then was not thrown to again until the last drive of the game where he caught one ball for yet another first down. On that play, Bennett did a great job getting to the first down marker on his route so when Cutler delivered the ball, he had already gained the first down. He then turned upfield and kept fighting forward as what appeared to be the whole Panthers team tried to tackle him--fruitlessly since he never stopped pumping his legs. The last target was thrown well over his head. While Marshall is the big dog in this offense, Bennett has stepped in as a very reliable piece and Cutler should keep looking for him to move the chains.
2012 Week 9 vs TEN (8 / 4 / 22 / 0 rec)
Bennett made two tough receptions for first downs on a curl route and a slant route that kept two drives moving. Other than that, he spent most of his day blocking. At this point, if your name isn't Brandon Marshall and you are a WR on Chicago, you just don't get the ball all that much.
2012 Week 11 vs SF (2 / 1 / 6 / 0 rec)
Bennett displayed a lack of speed, catching ability or precision in route running, and his one catch came at the end of the first half while the San Francisco defense played soft coverage. He was a non-factor for most of the game.
2012 Week 12 vs MIN (4 / 4 / 45 / 0 rec)
Earl Bennett turned in a season high four receptions in this game, even if only resulted in 45 yards of total offense. They key for Bennett was that he caught everything that Cutler threw to him, and three of his four receptions were for first downs. Bennett's first catch came early in the 1st quarter on 3rd and 6. Cutler rifled the ball into traffic, but Bennett made the grab, and spun away from his defenders, making more yards and turning a 5 yard catch into an 11 yard gain. Before the half, he came in motion across the line of scrimmage and then broke into the left flat when the ball was snapped. He was wide open with green fields in front of him, but when Cutler threw the ball a bit behind him, Bennett made the grab but fell down. By the time he got up, he was tackled and only had a four yard gain instead of a monster play that might have resulted in a touchdown or a huge gain. On the final drive of the first half, Cutler hit Bennett on a quick slant and he was able to break it into a nice 21 yard catch and run. He opened the third quarter with another 10 yard catch and run to close out his day with a solid, if unspectacular performance.
2012 Week 13 vs SEA (3 / 1 / 12 / 1 rec)
With Devin Hester out, Bennett started this game opposite Brandon Marshall. On the final play of the half, he lined up to return the kickoff from Seattle and sustained a concussion. He did not come out of the locker room for the second half of the game. In the first half, Bennett opened the scoring for Chicago in the first quarter on a nice play where he came in motion before the snap and then released into the flat as Jay Cutler rolled out. Cutler flipped him the ball and he had a nice 12 yard catch and run, jumping into the air and being up-ended as he landed in the end zone for the TD. He should have had another TD mid-way through the second quarter when he had his defender beaten by two steps down the right side of the field. Cutler zipped a perfect pass to him and it hit Bennett in stride, but bounced off his chest and shoulder pads and fell incomplete. He would have easily scored had he just held on to the ball.
2012 Week 16 vs ARI (1 / 1 / 16 / 0 rec)
Fresh off a concussion, Bennett was not used all that much throughout the day an only saw one target, which he caught. The play was a nice short pass in the middle of the field which Bennett hauled in and then turned upfield. Bennett found a seam and was able to gain a chunk of yardage after the catch to put the Bears in the red zone and help set up an eventual Brandon Marshall touchdown.
2012 Week 17 vs DET (5 / 5 / 109 / 1 rec)
Bennett will finish the season with Chicago's longest pass from scrimmage. However, It was a quick bubble screen where Bennett caught the ball and when Detroit was out of position, he used his downfield blocking well to scamper for a big 60 yard TD reception. While Bennett showed good positioning and solid speed, it was more a mistake of Detroit's defense rather than a big play that led to the score. Bennett chipped in a few more short curls and slant routes before making another good catch for 28 yards early in the 4th quarter. Bennett was working one on one down the sideline and Cutler lofted him the ball. The defender was out of position and couldn't turn around to see it. Bennett went up and made a nice grab, going over the 100 yard receiving mark for the first time this season.
2011 Week 2 vs NO (1 / 1 / 9 / 0 rec)
He was injured early in the game and did not return. here is the play and how it happened. The Bears were going to go into a Wildcat formation and then Bennett and Cutler switched out and went to a more natural passing formation. Cutler did a quick snap, 3 step drop and hit Bennett with a lot of mustard on it; Roman Harper closed in quickly on Bennett and lit him up essentially knocking him out for the rest of the game. Say what you will about Bennett but he is reliable and the Bears sorely needed that yesterday. Hopefully Bennett bounces back and can get back on the field soon.
2011 Week 9 vs PHI (5 / 5 / 95 / 1 rec)
It's not hard to see why Bennett is Cutler's favorite target as he's perhaps the only receiver the Bears have with all the tools necessary to adeptly play the position. Bennett consistently ran crisp routes for Cutler and made the catches that others weren't. Bennett also ran the Wildcat formation with Matt Forte in a new wrinkle. As impressive as Bennett's route running was, he didn't need a great route on his TD, as there was either a breakdown in coverage or just a mental lapse. Bennett ran to the corner of the end zone, found himself open, and made the grab. Bennett was especially efficient on the post route and finding a seam in the zone coverage.
2011 Week 10 vs DET (6 / 6 / 81 / 0 rec)
In his second game back from an extended injury, Bennett picked up where he left off last week - being the number one receiver for Chicago and catching everything that was thrown his way. Bennett's best reception came at the end of the first quarter. Jay Cutler was under pressure and scrambling to avoid the sack. He threw a deep pass to Bennett down the right side of the field. Bennett reached way up to make the catch and performed a perfect toe drag to keep his feet in bounds and make the 8 yard catch. As the Bears were driving at the end of the first half, trying to extend their lead, Bennett was targeted twice. The first was a short sideline route where he made a nice catch and stepped out of bounds to stop the clock. On the next play, the pocket collapses and as Cutler was scrambling, he saw Bennett deep down the middle of the field. He threw a strike and Bennett came up with the catch for a huge 30 yard gain to put the Bears into field goal range. It was Bennett's last action of the day as the Chicago defense took over and the offense turned to a run-first, run-often approach to grind the clock.
2011 Week 11 vs SD (9 / 3 / 75 / 0 rec)
Bennett had another solid game, though it could have been a lot better if not for an official review overturning a score. He did most of his damager early on, then appeared to have caught a 10-yard touchdown pass in the front corner of the end zone. Bennett hauled in a high pass near the goal line, then dove in to complete the score. However, the ball popped loose as he hit the ground so after an official review, it was determined that he hadn't completed the process of the catch all the way through the play to the ground.
2011 Week 12 vs OAK (4 / 1 / 5 / 0 rec)
With Cutler out Bennett owners had to temper expectations some. Unfortunately, nobody was expecting this low of performance. It seems like the two main targets for Hanie will be Knox and Forte. This puts the progress somewhat on hold for Bennett until Cutler comes back from injury.
2011 Week 13 vs KC (4 / 1 / 5 / 0 rec)
Bennett's one and only catch was a five yard sideline route with just five minutes to go in the game. It was Bennett's first reception of the game, and Chicago's 1st first down in the 4th quarter. Bennett missed a TD on a wheel route in the second quarter where he was behind the defense and wide open, but Hanie laid the ball out too deep and too high for him and it was uncatchable, despite his being wide open. He would have easily scored at TD.
2011 Week 14 vs DEN (1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Bennett started as the slot receiver this week but was held without a catch and had just one target in the game. He's clearly much less of a factor in this offense as long as Jay Cutler is out of the lineup.
2011 Week 15 vs SEA (1 / 1 / 20 / 0 rec)
Bennett only had one catch, but could see a little more action going forward, as Johnny Knox looks to be out long term. It must be noted though, that with Hanie at quarterback, Bennett has been virtually ignored.
2011 Week 16 vs GB (3 / 1 / 49 / 0 rec)
Bennett had just one catch in this game - a huge 49 yard catch and run where he ran an inside-out route and Tramon Williams fell down. Williams recovered, but as Bennett went by him, Williams had a half-hearted tackle and Bennett was able to keep going, cutting back over the middle and was tackled at the one yard line. McCown's second interception was a play where he looked at Bennett the entire way and tried to loft the ball into him, but it was too high and Bennett was only able to tip it into the Green Bay defender's hands.
2011 Week 17 vs MIN (5 / 3 / 31 / 0 rec)
Bennett's day was marred by a fumble on his first catch of the day. He'd done a nice job getting up field for a gain of 8 after the screen but had the ball punched away. He did help McCown out two other times, catching passes that were well behind him and picking up good gains.
2010 Week 2 vs DAL (6 / 5 / 29 / 0 rec)
Bennett supplanted Devin Aromoshodu as the Bears possession receiver against the Cowboys and he took full advantage of the opportunity. Bennett's five catches did not produce much in terms of yardage but he did help keep the Dallas front seven honest so that Jay Cutler could work the ball further downfield on later plays. Bennett was able to use his body to shield defenders on short routes and screen passes. Bennett's route running has improved from last season, but he still lacks the footwork and quickness in his cuts to create much separation from the defender. As a result, his ability to get yards after the catch was almost non-existent against the Cowboys.
2010 Week 4 vs NYG (5 / 4 / 26 / 0 rec)
Bennett lined up in the slot and made a few catches on quick passes over the middle but that was it.
2010 Week 5 vs CAR (1 / 1 / 4 / 0 rec)
Bennett's sole catch of the game came near the goal line on 3rd down on a drive that the Bears had to settle for a field goal on. In a game where the Bears were very much in control and riding the hot hand in Forte, Bennett's appearances were few and far between as they rarely went to a three wide set.
2010 Week 6 vs SEA (6 / 3 / 55 / 0 rec)
Bennett is a nice reliable hands catching target for Cutler in this offense, but will remain off the box score most weeks due to the nature of this offense. He is not the downfield threat that Cutler and Martz love, so he only catches short to intermediate routes. He has good quickness to play in the slot or run short routes, but lacks speed to beat out Knox or Hester in this offense.
2010 Week 7 vs WAS (5 / 4 / 76 / 0 rec)
Bennett has taken over as the Bears second receiver, a role previously thought to be given to Devin Hester or Devin Aromashadu. Bennett is being targeted downfield on post routes and deep out patterns. Bennett's emergence in the offense is likely due to his improved hands; he caught four of the five balls that came his way against the Redskins including a 48 yard gain that was his best catch of the day. On the play, Bennett lined up on the right side of the line and broke between the corner and linebacker on a go route, catching the ball in stride near the 20 yard line. He ran to the goalline but was ruled down at the 1 yard line. Unfortunately, quarterback Jay Cutler fumbled on the next play giving up a fantastic scoring opportunity for the Bears.
2010 Week 9 vs BUF (5 / 4 / 52 / 1 rec, 1 / 5 / 0 rush)
Bennett was targeted six times on the day including twice near the end zone. The first pass went incomplete thanks to Bills linebacker Reggie Torbor breaking up the pass. The second was a short out pattern to the corner of the end zone that went for six. Bills cornerback Leodis McKelvin was actually called for an illegal use of hands penalty (against Bennett) but, naturally, it was declined. Bennett was tied for second-most targets on the day (along with Matt Forte and Johnny Knox). This was largely due to the game-plan which, despite any real success on the ground, was a run-heavy plan with multiple shots over the middle to both Bennett (in the slot) and tight end Greg Olsen.
2010 Week 10 vs MIN (7 / 3 / 21 / 0 rec, 1 / 4 / 0 rush)
Bennett is a reliable chain mover and possession target for Cutler that will not drop passes, and will gladly serve as a check down target. Bennett did just this for the Bears and will have to be content in this role as Cutler looks further downfield often to his other more talented targets.
2010 Week 11 vs MIA (3 / 1 / 13 / 0 rec)
Is a slower version of Johnny Knox. He runs sharp routes though and is in the right spot but Bennett has no speed whatsoever. He was pretty much a nonfactor this week but Chicago stopped throwing the ball and started leaning on Forte heavily.
2010 Week 12 vs PHI (5 / 4 / 56 / 2 rec)
Earl Bennett took advantage of a short-staffed Philadelphia secondary to have his best career game, catching four passes for 56 yards and two touchdowns. Bennett ran a simple slant in for a 10-yard score early in the contest and later followed it up with another Red Zone catch for his second touchdown just prior to halftime. Bennett has been getting targets of late in the Red Zone and has some upside in touchdown leagues but his targets are very up and down all year, making him a risky weekly fantasy starter.
2010 Week 13 vs DET (8 / 7 / 104 / 0 rec)
Bennett exploded onto the fantasy scene with a 2 TD performance last week, and any owners that were brave enough to start him this week were rewarded with the best performance of his career. Cutler had very little time, and his chemistry with Bennett led him to look Earl's way 7 times. Bennett caught all 7 passes and went over 100 yards. Most of the passes were quick slants and throws that Bennett caught and ran with. Bennett showed good speed, and fought hard after each catch for every yard that he could. Bennett certainly is a receiver to keep an eye on in future weeks. He has undeniable chemistry with Cutler, and seems to be getting single coverage with the attention being given to Knox.
2010 Week 14 vs NE (7 / 3 / 53 / 0 rec)
Bennett got the majority of his yards when the game was far out of reach, but he still showed the ability to get open down the field, and Cutler continues to trust him. Bennett has become Cutler's go-to guy over the last month, and he continues to improve. Bennett has played his way into many owner's lineups, as he continues to get targets on a team that loves to throw. His chemistry with Cutler is undeniable, and he has a knack for getting open.
2010 Week 15 vs MIN (4 / 3 / 37 / 0 rec)
He's a possession receiver and I think his time is short in the NFL. I say that because he is almost no threat to break a play off and make a big gain it seems. He does run nice hook patterns and settles into the soft zones of the defense but overall he lacks any big play capability for his owners. Not a guy I would want to have a big stake in competing in dynasty leagues. He had a decent game last night but I also noticed he was not on the field all the time.
2010 Week 16 vs NYJ (4 / 1 / 14 / 0 rec)
Bennett was unable to do much in this game. He left at hafltime after aggravating an ankle injury which had kept him out of practice part of the week. He returned but was inneffective and Cutler and he seemed to be out of sync for the second half.
2010 Week 19 vs SEA (4 / 1 / 13 / 0 rec, 1 / 9 / 0 rush)
Earl Bennett got a wildcat snap early on out of the "Wild Bear" but failed to follow his blocks correctly or he could easily have walked in to the end zone. Bennett came up big on a crucial third down for Cutler, once again finding the weakness in the zone and exploiting it.
2010 Week 20 vs GB (5 / 3 / 45 / 1 rec, 1 / -2 / 0 rush)
Bennett was Caleb Hanie's main man on his no-huddle scoring drive to pull the Bears within seven at 21-14, with a terrific move after the catch to get free for his 35-yard TD. Bennett's number was also called on the third-down end-around that was the Bears penultimate play on offense.
2009 Week 1 vs GB (13 / 7 / 66 / 0 rec)
Bennett showed flashes of upside as the second starting wideout for the Bears in Week 1. Bennett topped was targeted typically 10-20 yards downfield between the numbers and the sideline but some of the passes from Cutler were either just off the mark or too difficult for Bennett to reel in. Bennett has better upside against weaker competition or against defenses that dominate against the ground game (such as Minnesota) so he is more of a fantasy spot starter with some upside. His value could also go down once TE Greg Olsen gets more involved in the passing attack or if Matt Forte gets more work as a receiver.
2009 Week 2 vs PIT (2 / 2 / 22 / 0 rec)
Bennett had two catches, one a nice tough run on a screen to convert a long third down, but his run as Jay Cutler's main target was cut short by a Johnny Knox breakout game. He will at best rotate with Knox going forward. He was replaced by Knox in two wide receiver sets during the second half.
2009 Week 3 vs SEA (4 / 4 / 80 / 0 rec)
Bennett reestablished his spot on the depth chart, stepping up to take back the WR2 role for the Bears in Week 3. His catches were not highlight reel material but the important point is that it was Bennett on the field in two WR sets, not Johnny Knox. If Jay Cutler continues to get more and more comfortable throwing for the Bears, Bennett would be a beneficiary of Cutler's passing stats.
2009 Week 4 vs DET (2 / 2 / 32 / 0 rec)
Earl Bennett had one very nice catch over the middle for a long gain of 25 yards to end the first quarter, but this capped his production on the day. Bennett basically disappeared after the first period, getting zero targets even after Devin Hester was forced out with an injury. Jay Cutler did not throw much on the day, but Bennett fell out of favor for rookie Johnny Knox and also targets to TE Greg Olsen.
2009 Week 6 vs ATL (5 / 4 / 57 / 0 rec)
The game of musical chairs with the Bears WR's continued in week 6 with Bennett seeing a handful of targets and making the most of them. It has been noted before that Bennett does not make show stealing catches, he does however do everything that is asked of him and displays crisp route running and steady hands. His best play of the evening came on a play late in the 4th quarter when he went up to get a Cutler pass and took a huge hit but managed to hold onto the ball. Cutler continues to spread the ball around week to week making it tough to forecast his WR's values.
2009 Week 7 vs CIN (6 / 4 / 48 / 0 rec)
Bennett had a beautiful spinning catch in the two-minute drill to end the first half, but he also made a less-than-optimal effort on Cutler's first interception. Bennett did get some deep targets, including one into triple coverage on a fourth down once the game was out of hand that was intercepted by Leon Hall for his second on the day.
2009 Week 8 vs CLE (3 / 2 / 29 / 0 rec)
Bennett was targeted only three times, but made two strong catches. Both pass plays were short and Bennett fought for a few extra yards.
2009 Week 9 vs ARI (11 / 7 / 93 / 0 rec)
Bennett very quietly had an extremely productive game. He proved to be a reliable target for Cutler in the clutch, converting a number of third downs. Bennett also had three receptions of 20+ yards.
2009 Week 10 vs SF (5 / 3 / 27 / 0 rec)
Earl Bennett started for Chicago at wideout but he saw fewer targets in Week 10 than TE Greg Olsen, RB Matt Forte and even third receiver Johnny Knox. Bennett would have had an additional catch of 40 yards with much of that coming after the catch, but a penalty took away the play. Adding that catch back into the stat column would make Bennett a far better performer (4-67) but that's not how it works. He looked good on that play and picked up about 30 of the 40 yards after the grab, but the major concern here is the lack of chances. The second wideout for the Bears is fourth on the food chain when it comes to the passing game, making Bennett a marginal fantasy player at best.
2009 Week 11 vs PHI (7 / 5 / 57 / 0 rec)
Along with TE Greg Olsen, Earl Bennett has become a bit of a safety valve option for QB Jay Cutler. This week proved to be more the same as Bennett worked out of the slot all night long and made some short catches. He broke free for a 19 yard scamper after a short reception when the Bears were mounting a go-ahead drive. Cutler is not leaning on him downfield at all right now. While Bennett is doing everything that is asked of him, he remains nothing more than a WR3 option right now.
2009 Week 12 vs MIN (5 / 3 / 14 / 0 rec)
Bennett was a victim of a Chicago Bear offense that was totally dominated the entire game. He had only three receptions in the first half for a total of 14 yards, and was the target of Cutler's second interception where the ball popped up when Bennett was hit trying to catch it. Bennett was not even targeted in the second half and couldn't get open for anything down the field. He's more of a possession receiver for the Bears now than anything else.
2009 Week 13 vs STL (4 / 2 / 74 / 1 rec)
Bennett showed better than average speed after he caught Cutler pass in the middle of the field and took it for a 71-yard gain, although he was stripped from behind at the end of the run. He found an open spot in the front of the end zone for his TD catch. He could have had a second TD, but he was well-covered on his fade route, even though the defender didn't really make a play on the ball.
2009 Week 14 vs GB (4 / 1 / 6 / 0 rec)
Bennett was barely targeted in this one, but he did have an acrobatic catch in the end zone that ended up an incompletion because Bennett could not get both feet down in bounds.
2009 Week 15 vs BAL (4 / 2 / 50 / 0 rec)
Bennett had a nice gain early on a quick throw that he took upfield through traffic with nice moves and a good burst. A back shoulder throw that worked last week with Aromashodu in the end zone was off this week when it went to Bennett, although Bennett did score the Bears only TD on a punt return that showed off the same tough running in traffic and good speed we saw on the early reception.
2009 Week 16 vs MIN (7 / 3 / 35 / 1 rec)
Bennett was quiet, but he got behind the defense for the TD to put the Bears ahead with less than five minutes to go after the Vikings had tied things up. Devin Aromashodu poached his chance to become the de facto #1 WR with Devin Hester out.
2009 Week 17 vs DET (6 / 3 / 27 / 0 rec)
Bennett has another quiet game for the Bears and finished the season with mediocre stats for a guy who was supposed to be connected with Jay Cutler from Day 1. Bennett's best play came at the end of the second quarter when Cutler hit him for a nice 17 yard strike down the right side of the field. He had two other minor receptions for 10 yards total, and finished the game with just 27 total yards for the game.