'Peanut Punch' a devastating blow

Cutler has thrown 90 times to Marshall, which is 58 times more than he has thrown to his next most-frequent target, Earl Bennett. Only three receivers have been targeted more than Marshall.

Cutler has completed 65.6 percent of his passes to Marshall. He has completed 60.9 percent of his passes to Alshon Jeffery, 56.5 percent of his passes to Devin Hester and 50 percent of his passes to Bennett.

When Cutler has targeted Marshall, he has gained an average of 8.86 yards. On his throws to all other wide receivers, it's 6.65.

And Cutler has been the most wide-receiver dependent quarterback in the NFL. He has targeted wide receivers on 71.5 percent of his passes — the highest percentage of any starter.

Front-office chess: McManis move

During preseason, the Bears were struggling to find a gunner for their punt team. They lost both from 2011 when Corey Graham and Zack Bowman signed with other teams as free agents (Bowman since has returned).

They knew they had one gunner they could count on in Eric Weems, who was a free-agent addition. They tried a number of players for the other spot — D.J. Moore, Rashied Davis, Jonathan Wilhite, Isaiah Frey and Greg McCoy — but no one stood out.

They were on the lookout for an upgrade when they decided they were not going to keep a fullback. They shopped Tyler Clutts, and the Texans were interested.

The Bears identified cornerback Sherrick McManis as a player who could help them because of his history as a gunner. He was not on the trade market, but the Texans knew they had to part with him to get Clutts.

Deal done.

On Sunday, McManis made it look like general manager Phil Emery's second best trade of the year when he blocked a punt the Bears returned for a touchdown. This Sunday, he will get a chance to show his former team what they are missing.

dpompei@tribune.com

Twitter @danpompei

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