Bears receiver Brandon Marshall and cornerback Charles Tillman have been rewarded for their outstanding performances in 2012 by being named first-team All-NFL by Pro Football Weekly.
Acquired in a blockbuster trade in March, Marshall rewrote the Bears record book in his first season in Chicago, setting franchise records with a career-high 118 receptions and 1,508 yards.
|Brandon Marshall and Charles Tillman battle for the ball during a training camp drill in Bourbonnais.|
The 6-4, 230-pounder tied for second in the NFL in receptions and ranked third in receiving yards. Marshall's seven 100-yard games tied for the most in Bears history, and he became the fifth NFL receiver to record a 1,000-yard season with three different teams.
Marshall caught a career-high 11 TD passes, tied for the sixth most in Bears history and the most since Curtis Conway had 12 in 1995. Marshall also became the first Bears receiver to be voted to the Pro Bowl since Marty Booker in 2002 and just the second since Dick Gordon in 1971.
"First-year GM Phil Emery hit the jackpot," Pro Football Weekly wrote, "as Marshall ... provided a lion's share of the Bears' offense as Jay Cutler's primary receiving weapon. Marshall ... increased his value by making a concerted effort to be on his best behavior—both on and off the field."
Other skill position players named to first-team All-NFL by Pro Football Weekly included Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch and Lions receiver Calvin Johnson.
Tillman became the first cornerback in Bears history to be voted to back-to-back Pro Bowls. He tied for the NFL lead with three interception return touchdowns and led the league with a career-high 10 forced fumbles, tied for the most since the league starting tracking the stat in 1991.
Pro Football Weekly described Tillman as "a legitimate Defensive MVP candidate" who "spearheaded one of the league's most opportunistic defenses, taking his well-documented ability to punch the ball out of offensive players' hands to a new level."
Tillman has now forced 39 fumbles in his career, the most by any player since he entered the NFL in 2003 with the Bears as a second-round draft pick out of Louisiana-Lafayette.
With his three interception return TDs, Tillman set the Bears career record for defensive touchdowns with nine, ahead of former safety Mike Brown (7) and linebacker Lance Briggs (6).
In October, Tillman and Briggs became the first teammates in NFL history to each return interceptions for touchdowns in back-to-back games. They helped the Bears score nine defensive TDs in 2012, one shy of the NFL record set by the 1961 Chargers.