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TE Martellus Bennett - New England Patriots

6-6, 259Born: 3-10-1987College: Texas A&MDrafted: Round 2

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Photo: Matt Marton, US Presswire

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Recent Game Summaries

2015 Week 13 vs SF (4 / 3 / 14 / 0 rec)

What has become of Martellus Bennett? The Bears' top tight end has become a shell of himself of late. Could it be the rib injury that caused him to miss the Bears' win over Green Bay in Week 12? Could it be the new contract he wants? Could it be the reported tension with Bennett and the Bears' front office? Who knows at this point. Bennett is not playing good football these days. Long gone are the days when he was receiving double-digits in targets. Against the 49ers, Bennett caught only three passes for 14 yards on four targets. His strong on-field rapport with Jay Cutler seemingly is gone. The Bears really aren't doing anything different with Bennett. His ability to win mismatches in the secondary has gone away, and this is why he's not receiving the same high number of targets he's seen in recent years.

2015 Week 11 vs DEN (6 / 2 / 26 / 0 rec)

Martellus Bennett is in the midst of a tough stretch of football. The Bears' star tight end caught only two passes for 26 yards in Sunday's loss to the Broncos. Combine those numbers with last week's effort against the Rams, Bennett only has five receptions for 44 yards. The low-point of Bennett's day came on the Bears' two-point conversation attempt that would have tied the game at 17-17 very late in the fourth quarter. The call was an up-the-middle run play for Jeremy Langford. At the snap of the ball, Bennett was supposed to put a block on Broncos safety T.J. Ward. Bennett, instead, released off the line and allowed Ward a free hit in the backfield on Langford. It's not that Bennett has turned into a bad football player or anything; his struggles are more so due to a lack of weapons on offense. With Matt Forte, Alshon Jeffery and Eddie Royal all sidelined due to injury, the Broncos defense was able to key in on the Jay Cutler-to-Bennett connection. As the Bears get healthy on offense, expect Bennett to once again find his rhythm within Adam Gase's offense.

2015 Week 10 vs STL (3 / 3 / 18 / 0 rec)

What's currently going on with the Bears' tight ends is rather interesting. Martellus Bennett only caught three passes for 18 yards on three targets. His backup, Zach Miller, caught five passes for 107 yards and two touchdowns on five targets. Jay Cutler loves to play favorites, and Miller clearly is his flavor of the week. Miller now has touchdown receptions in back-to-back weeks, three in total. What this means for Bennett's future production is unclear at this time. Bennett still is a dangerous pass-catching option for Cutler, no doubt. But his role seems like it's diminishing a touch of late -- to no fault of his own.

2015 Week 9 vs SD (9 / 8 / 57 / 1 rec)

Bennett didn't put up eye-popping stats, but he performed as the typically reliable player he is. He got wide open a couple of times in the first half for nice gains, one of which could have gone for more if he hadn't been tripped up by the ground. He ended up gaining 17 yards on the play, but walked off to the sideline after the play to get looked at by the training staff. He must have been fine, because he was back in the game a few plays later. And when Chicago got down to the 1-yard line, Bennett was the recipient of a wide open score off play action to put Chicago on the board for the first time.

2015 Week 8 vs MIN (5 / 3 / 32 / 0 rec)

It's becoming hard to predict which Martellus Bennett we're going to see in any given week. He'll either receive five targets or 15 targets, and his level of interest, at times, is affected by how often he's targeted. Against the Vikings, Bennett appeared to be an afterthought in Adam Gase's offense. It was Alshon Jeffery or nothing for Jay Cutler. Bennett caught three passes for 32 yards on five targets in the 23-20 loss to Minnesota. Bennett's lack of activity likely had to do with Gase's playcalling early in the game, calling a lot of plays that kept the ball near the line of scrimmage. If the opposing defense isn't afraid of the deep ball, opposing defenders can stack the line of scrimmage and make it more difficult for the pass-catchers to get off the line without contact. As the game went on and Cutler was able to get Jeffery downfield on a few occasions, the middle of the field started to open up. Unfortunately, it was too late for Bennett to make a significant impact in the outcome of the game. Bennett needs to get involved early and often in order to be maximized in all four quarters.

2015 Week 6 vs DET (11 / 6 / 59 / 0 rec)

Jay Cutler and Martellus Bennett have not been on the same page this season -- surprisingly Coming off a year that saw Bennett record career highs in receptions, yards and touchdowns, success has been tougher to come by. Bennett has been targeted 25 times over the past two weeks -- a number that leads the Bears offense. Of those 25 targets, Bennett only has converted 15 of those targets into receptions. Two of the targets resulted in dropped passes by Bennett, both of which came on big plays of the game. The curious case of Martellus Bennett truly is curious. The tight end is doing everything needed to be a game-changer -- block, beat defenders off the line, run after the catch --but his inability to actually catch the ball is making life more difficult than it needs to be. Bennett entered Sunday's game hampered by a quad injury. With the bye week upon the Bears, expect Bennett to come back with a renewed sense of energy.

2015 Week 5 vs KC (11 / 4 / 32 / 0 rec)

Martellus Bennett surprisingly didn't record his first catch until early in the fourth quarter. With the Bears' top three wide receivers sidelined due to injury, Bennett had an opportunity to make a major impact in this game. Instead, the tight end finished with four catches for 32 yards. It doesn't matter that Bennett only caught four balls, what matters is that he dropped (unofficially) three passes -- one of which likely would have resulted in a touchdown. Life wasn't made easy for Bennett in Sunday's win. The Bears' inability to move the ball vertically created a logjam in the middle of the field, where Bennett does his best work. When Jay Cutler finally found some success moving the offense down the field late in the game, Bennett started catching passes. Look for his output to increase as the Bears' offensive weapons start returning to the field.

2015 Week 4 vs OAK (13 / 11 / 83 / 1 rec)

Martellus Bennett played like a man amongst boys in Sunday's 22-20 win over the Raiders. The vocal tight end caught 11 passes for 83 yards and a touchdown. These numbers more closely reflect his production from 2014, when Jay Cutler fed him the ball on what seemed like every dropback. When Cutler is under center, Bennett should be viewed as one of the most productive tight ends in the game. Bennett led the Bears in catches and targets against the Raiders. At times during the game, the Raiders even used a safety over the top to keep Bennett from beating them. Obviously that didn't work so well as Bennett plowed over Raiders defenders on his way to having his best game of this short season. Playing with a desire for a new contract, you can expect Bennett to play each week with additional motivation in mind.

2015 Week 3 vs SEA (5 / 4 / 15 / 0 rec)

In the battle of the Bennetts, Martellus did not come out on top. Michael Bennett had a far better game than brother Marteullus, who caught only four passes for a game-changing 15 yards. Martellus Bennett saw one of the tougher matchups in the league when the Bears fell 26-0 at the hands of the Seahawks. Making things more difficult, the Bears were without starting quarterback Jay Cutler and starting wide receivers Alshon Jeffery and Kevin White, leaving Bennett, a tight end, to be Jimmy Clausen's top passing option. It's not that Bennett isn't capable of shouldering a full workload load, the problem is more so who is under center. Because Clausen was under center, the Seahawks knew the Bears wouldn't be able to move down the field through the air. As a result, the Seahwaks were able to flood the middle of the field with linebackers and safeties, leaving very little room for Bennett to do Bennett-like things. Until the offensive firepower, if you want to call it that, returns to the field for the Bears, life will continue to be difficult for a workhorse like Bennett.

2015 Week 2 vs ARI (6 / 4 / 48 / 0 rec)

Martellus Bennett struggled to get things going in Sunday's loss to the Cardinals. Expected to be a focal point of the offense, Bennett has struggled to find the same kinds of success he found last season, when he recorded a career high in receptions. Against a linebacking group that is very beatable, Bennett only caught four passes on six targets for 44 yards. Jay Cutler leaving the game with a hamstring injury didn't help Bennett's fortunes, as Jimmy Clausen appeared to be rushed in the pocket at every turn. Given how the Bears pretty much trailed the entire game, it would have made sense for Bennett to be more involved in the offense. It's not for a lack of effort, but more so a product of the offense's struggles as a whole.

2015 Week 1 vs GB (7 / 5 / 55 / 1 rec)

Martellus Bennett is a very underrated tight end in this league. Not thought of in the same respects as Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham -- though, understandably -- Bennett continues impress as the Bears' best tight end since the days of Ditka. Bennett caught five passes on seven targets for 55 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's loss to the Packers. The chemistry Jay Cutler and Bennett displayed last season, when the tight end recorded a career high in receptions, appears to be just as strong in 2015. As the new-look Bears' offense continues to mesh, the field will get longer and Bennett will start finding himself with more space to work the middle of the field. As it happened against Green Bay, the Bears ran out three receivers who all missed valuable practice time and preseason action leading up to Week 1. The playbook wasn't as dynamic as it could have been with three healthy receivers who can use the entire field. If there's one thing to learn from Bennett's performance in Week 1, it's that he's going to have a monster season.


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