Bennett emerges at most important time

CHICAGO -- Chicago Bears wide receiver Earl Bennett ’s performance reflected the entire Bears’ offense in their 23-22 win over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.

At times, especially in the first half, Bennett was missing in action. But Bennett performed impressively with the game on the line.

Bennett snagged three receptions for 47 yards in the second half to help the Bears rally from a 19-7 deficit. Bennett caught back-to-back passes of 24 and 11 yards in the third quarter and finished with a 12-yard catch on the Bears’ game-winning drive.

“We came through when we needed to come through,” said Bennett, who has 12 catches for 157 yards in five games this season . “In the second and third quarter, we really picked it up.

“It was really frustrating. We really couldn’t get anything going. We didn’t get a rhythm. But at the end of the third quarter, we really got a rhythm, started throwing the ball, moving the ball on them. They started mixing their defense a little bit and we led to the win.”

Bennett missed two games earlier this season with a hand injury, and he felt good to be able to contribute.

“It always feels good to get out and play and help us win,” he said. “I missed two weeks with my hand. That’s tough. Whenever I get an opportunity to make a play, I just try to help the team out. We just couldn’t find a rhythm; we had a couple miscues. We came into halftime and just had to pick it up. Everyone in here had to look at themselves and pick up their games, and that’s what we did. I’m out there just trying to make plays when my number is called and just do my job.

“It was a hard-fought win. I don’t feel like it was a steal. We went out and made plays we needed to. That’s why we won the game. ... We’re tough and we never give up.”

Bennett was also glad to get out of the game in one piece. He a shot to his upper back and looked unstable as he walked off the field.

“I’m good,” Bennett said. “I got the wind knocked out of me, but I’m alright.”