It's no secret that the Bears hope to get No. 1 receiver Allen Robinson II more involved in their offense in Sunday's Super Wild Card clash in New Orleans than he was in the regular-season finale.
After leading the Bears in receiving yards in 13 straight games, Robinson was limited to a season-low two catches (on five targets) for 37 yards in last Sunday's 35-16 loss to the Packers at Soldier Field. He finished the year with a career-high 102 receptions for 1,250 yards and six touchdowns.
"Anytime you have 100 catches, teams know that that's a guy that you want to be able to get the football to," said coach Matt Nagy. "What we need to is make sure that we do a good job of mixing it up and making sure that he's still getting opportunities. I know last week was one of those things where there weren't a lot of opportunities or targets for him. Obviously, we want to be able to change that."
Robinson no doubt will be happy to hear that, but the veteran receiver isn't the type to demand the ball or complain about a lack of targets.
"My job is to play," Robinson said. "I've never really gotten too much caught up into that during the course of my career at all. I think I said that early on. Coaches coach and players play. I trust in the plan that they have, that they're going to put together, and it's just my job to execute. I can only focus on that. I can't focus on everything else and what's outside of that. My focus is on the scheme, what my job is, and how I can help this offense win games or help to win games."
Robinson did virtually everything he could the last time the Bears were in the playoffs in 2018, setting franchise postseason records with 10 receptions for 143 yards in a 16-15 loss to the Eagles at Soldier Field. His 22-yard touchdown catch from Mitchell Trubisky gave the Bears a 15-10 lead early in the fourth quarter. And then after the Eagles went ahead 16-15 with :56 to play, Robinson caught passes of 25 and eight yards to put the Bears in position to win with a field goal. But Cody Parkey missed a 43-yard attempt with :05 to play, hitting the left upright and crossbar.
"The saying goes that big-time players make big-time plays in big-time situations," Trubisky said, "and [Robinson] definitely was one of those players in the fourth quarter when we needed him to make big-time catches for our offense. He was getting open and making big-time plays and we were giving him opportunities.
"I think players like him always show up when the spotlight is on, and we just need to continue to rely on him and our other playmakers and get him the football in key matchups. A-Rob has done a great job with that, and he's shown with experience in his play that when given an opportunity, he will make big plays for us."
Robinson hopes to continue producing big plays Sunday in New Orleans—just as he has throughout a roller-coaster season for the Bears, who opened 5-1, then lost six straight before rebounding to reach the playoffs.
"It's been an up and down year for us, but we've had more ups than downs obviously because we're in the playoffs," Robinson said. "For us, it's just about capitalizing on our opportunity. That's the main thing.
"We've been through a lot of adversity as a team through this season, and we feel like that has made us a better team when it comes to certain things down the stretch. Guys have leaned on each other and have had to lean on each other all season. The playoffs isn't any different. Guys are locked in, tuned in, and guys are excited for the opportunity on Sunday."
WR Allen Robinson II put up his second straight season of more than 1,000 receiving yards in 2020, marking the 17th time a Bears wideout has eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark in a single year. Take a look at our list to see how many of the other receivers you can name.