1. Marc Mariani: Experience matters on special teams. Mariani is a credible return man. He ran back five kickoff returns for 142 yards (28.4 average), with a long return of 40 yards, in the 31-15 loss to New Orleans. While not the flashiest player, Mariani is a professional. He understands his role and doesn’t make mental mistakes. Mariani should be in the mix next year for a permanent spot on special teams. The Bears were lucky to find him.
2. Pat O'Donnell: O’Donnell crushed the ball versus the Saints, hitting six punts for 299 yards (49.8 average/46.3 net average). The sixth-round pick is in a groove. O’Donnell has been a model of consistency for the better part of two months. His overall net average is a tad low (38.1), but the rookie is another of the few bright spots in an otherwise dreary year.
3. Martellus Bennett: Nice to hear Bennett speak the truth after Monday’s defeat. "There are some positions on the team that need to step up with leadership and things like that around the club," Bennett said. "But overall, I just feel like we need passion to come from certain places. I don’t think the passion is always there all the time. But overall, it just hasn’t been there. I don’t really get into the name thing. They know who they are." That’s the most honest assessment of the Bears’ current plight.
1. Jay Cutler: A miserable all-around effort by Cutler. The quarterback continues to lead the NFL in turnovers after throwing three interceptions against New Orleans (18 interceptions and six lost fumbles). Cutler excels in garbage time. That’s it. The Bears must draft a quarterback in the first or second round.
2. Marc Trestman: The offense looks ill-prepared and disinterested. Monday night marked the sixth blowout defeat for the Bears in 2014. It’s virtually impossible to point to a reason why Trestman should return to coach the Bears for a third season. If you can find a reason, please tell me.
3. Danny McCray: McCray needs to know better. A veteran special teamer can’t call for a fake punt to be snapped when he sees the team is a man short on the field. McCray is the personal protector. His responsibility is to make sure the Bears have 11 men on the field. The missing player is also at fault, but McCray is experienced. It just cannot happen. Take the delay of game penalty and live to fight another day.