EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ. -- Brandon Marshall is no stranger to the end zone. Over the first six years of his NFL career, Marshall has scored 34 touchdowns -- 14 of which occurred when the wideout was paired with Bears quarterback Jay Cutler in Denver from 2006-08.
Saturday night marked the duo's first touchdown connection with the Bears when Cutler found Marshall for a 21-yard scoring strike in the first quarter.
"I think they tried to go Cover 2, but the safety didn't get over the top or the cornerback didn't (cover) underneath and Jay just threw it up there and I made the play," Marshall said. "It felt good to get in the end zone. Hopefully there is more to come."
Bears fans are hoping the same thing. Two Bears players have caught up to eight touchdown passes in a season since 2000 (Marty Booker, 2001 and Greg Olsen, 2009), a milestone that appears to be well within Marshall's reach. Marhshall led the Bears with five receptions for 51 yards in the 20-17 win over the Giants.
“He’s a big, physical target,” Bears head coach Lovie Smith said. “He’s got good hands. We’ve seen him make a lot of catches like that. That is why we brought him here; to make those types of plays when he’s covered, and he will be able to do that for us. I’ve been pleased with Brandon since he walked into Halas Hall.
Of course, the Cutler to Marshall combination hasn't been perfect. The combination has misfired a couple of times in the preseason but Marshall has still managed to put up impressive stats in both games Cutler started at quarterback. Marshall caught a career high 104 passes from Cutler in 2008, numbers that don't sound unrealistic this season with the Bears even though the club added other weapons on offense in the offseason.
“Brandon and I missed a few things,” Cutler said. “Everything was a little bit off a count in the passing game. We made some plays. We missed stuff. There was some stuff that is easily fixed but needs to be fixed in the next two weeks.”
"It's never as good as you think, it's never as bad as you think," Marshall said. "We'll watch film, learn from it, get better and hopefully have a great week of practice, so we can be where we need to be on September 9.
"The only people that can really stop us is us."