What to Watch 4: Tracy Porter vs. Allen Robinson a key matchup
After Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton burned them with 10 catches for 171 yards and the game-winning touchdown last week, the Bears face a huge challenge in Jaguars wide receiver Allen Robinson, who had 80 receptions for 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns last season. Robinson has modest numbers so far this year — 21 catches for 238 yards — but has three touchdowns in his last two games. Bears cornerback Tracy Porter figures to see a lot of Robinson, but Jacoby Glenn or Bryce Callahan could get their share of matchups with him.
“We’ve got to do a good job of mixing the coverage on him. But ultimately you’ve got to win your one-on-one matchups with him,” Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said. “We can’t roll up to him all the time. And he’s very acrobatic, good at plucking the ball out of the air type of receiver.”
Bears quarterback Brian Hoyer has thrown 140 passes without an interception this season (100-of-140 for 1,094 yards, six touchdowns, 108.5 rating). That already exceeds Jay Cutler’s longest streak in eight seasons with the Bears — 107, set in Weeks 1-4 in 2014.
Hoyer’s 108.5 passer rating ranks third in the NFL, behind the Falcons’ Matt Ryan (121.6) and the Vikings’ Sam Bradford (109.8).
PLAYER TO WATCH
Cornerback Bryce Callahan played well against the Colts last week before suffering a hamstring injury. He’s questionable for Sunday’s game. If he can’t go, second-year cornerback Jacoby Glenn is eager for another shot after giving up the game-winning touchdown to Hilton last week.
“Very eager,” Glenn said. “Ready to get another opportunity to make plays.”
Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio shared the blame for the Hilton touchdown — “I should have given him more help, knowing he’s in there.” But Glenn said he learned lesson.
“Just bad technique,” he said. “I worked on a lot of stuff this week. It made me a better player.”
The inefficiency of the Bears’ offense and Jaguars defense can be tied to penalties. The Bears’ offense — ranked eighth in yards (372 per game), but 30th in points (15.6) — was doomed by seven penalties last week against the Colts. The Jaguars’ defense — ranked seventh in yards (304 allowed per game), but 30th in points (27.4) — committed eight penalties for 124 yards against the Colts in their last game.
Overall, the Bears have been penalized 35 times for 270 yards this season — 31 times for 240 yards in the last four games. They have 16 pre-snap penalties.
The Jaguars have been penalized 40 times for a league-high 392 yards.