1. Jay Cutler, QB: Cutler put together his second consecutive strong outing in the win over the Minnesota Vikings, completing 21 of 31 passes for 267 yards, two touchdowns and a passer rating of 115.9. With a game plan more catered to the team’s capabilities, Cutler was able to play aggressively. Even under pressure Cutler kept his eyes downfield toward the receivers. So when your quarterback has a gun like Cutler’s, that’s a dangerous proposition because speedsters like Devin Hester can take the top off a coverage easily.
2. Devin Hester, WR: Let’s get this one thing straight: what Hester is doing isn’t normal. Players don’t take kickoffs and punts to the house this routinely. So what we’re watching is definitely special, and yes if Hester keeps this up, he’ll definitely warrant consideration as a Hall of Famer. Yeah, I said that. Adding to that was the 48-yard bomb he caught in the first quarter from Cutler.
3. Julius Peppers, DE: Peppers limped around in the locker room during the week leading up to the game. The team listed him as doubtful. Then miraculously, Peppers became healthy enough to play. Hobbling and at times writhing in pain in Sunday’s game, Peppers still managed to notch a couple of sacks and play a major role in the team shutting down Adrian Peterson. Just think of how he would have performed if he were fully healthy.
1. Henry Melton, DT: The penetrating three-technique defensive tackle has contributed just one tackle in his past three outings, and is averaging one tackle per game. Melton wasn’t credited with any tackles against the Vikings, but did register one quarterback hit. Surely that’s not the level of production the team expect of Melton when it raved about him all offseason. It’s not that Melton is playing badly. He’s been just -- well -- average.
2. Chris Harris, S: Slumping for all the wrong reasons, Harris formally requested permission to seek a trade on Monday. But it’s unlikely the team will be able to move him by Tuesday’s 3 p.m. trade deadline. Harris would never admit this, but according to a source he asked the team to give him an additional week to recover (he couldn’t get in and out of cuts) going into the Detroit game. Well, he returned too early, was beaten for a touchdown, later benched, and eventually deactivated.
3. Brandon Meriweather, S: The Bears decided to pay Meriweather more than what they even offered to one of their own free agents (Danieal Manning). So surely the club expected more from the investment than what they’ve received: a two-time Pro Bowler who is now a backup. Meriweather didn’t play in Sunday’s win over the Vikings. Two days prior to that game, the league announced Meriweather would be fined $20,000 or more for the second consecutive week for a questionable hit.