Wide receiver Eddie Royal has emerged as the go-to player for the Chicago Bears offense this season.
The 30-year-old has been by far the most dependable receiver for the Bears, as he’s tied for second on the team with 18 receptions, trailing only Kevin White's 19 catches. But with the news of White heading to injured reserve, Royal’s role will continue to increase.
After missing seven games in 2015, Royal looks like he hasn’t missed a beat with this offense, no matter who is throwing him the ball.
In Chicago's 17-14 in over the Detroit Lions in Week 4, Royal caught all seven of his targets for 111 yards and a touchdown.
Royal has been the man on third downs, consistently coming through when the Bears need to convert to keep the drive alive. His 12 targets on third downs this season are tied for eighth-most in the NFL according to the Real Football Network.
Those 12 third-down looks account for 54.5 percent of his total targets, which are second-most among those with at least double-digit targets this season.
With Hoyer starting again in Week 5 and White sidelined for the foreseeable future, expect Royal’s production to continue to increase as the season progresses.
Other stats of note:
- Chicago’s secondary continues to be a bright spot. They are giving up an average of 220.5 yards per game. That’s good for sixth-best in the NFL this season.
- Wide receiver Kevin White’s 19 receptions were the most in franchise history through the first four games of his career.
- The Bears have just one offensive drive all season that has lasted more than five minutes. That came on their second offensive possession in Week 4, which resulted in a touchdown.
- Quarterback Brian Hoyer finished Week 4 with a 77.8 completion percentage, tied with Jay Cutler for best in franchise history when having at least 31 attempts.
- Hoyer has now thrown for 300-plus yards in back-to-back games, becoming the first Bears quarterback to do so since Josh McCown in 2013.
- The Bears were the first team to win a regular season game at Lucas Oil Stadium when they beat the Colts 29-13 in Week 1 of the 2008 season. It will be the Bears' first trip back to Indianapolis since that game.
- The Colts are giving up 31.2 points per game this season, the most in the AFC. The New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers are the only teams allowing more points per contest.
- Colts quarterback Andrew Luck made his first NFL start against the Bears, which was a 41-21 loss in Week 1 of the 2012. Luck finished with three interceptions and a fumble.
- Chicago’s offense is still struggling to score. They are averaging just 15.5 points per game this season, tied for last in the NFL.
- The Bears have committed 12 pre-snap penalties this season, which is tied for fourth most in the NFL. Indianapolis enters Week 5 with 10 pre-snap penalties.