Bears' Allen Robinson, Cairo Santos have their own special homecomings in beating Jags

Robinson hits 100 receptions for the season; Santos is perfect in three games at TIAA Bank Field.

Garry Smits
Florida Times-Union
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Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson II (12) makes the catch over Jaguars cornerback Greg Mabin (34) in the second quarter Sunday.

There were two kinds of holiday homecomings for Chicago Bears players at TIAA Bank Field on Sunday. 

Wide receiver Allen Robinson played his first game in Jacksonville since Christmas Eve in 2016, when he caught nine passes for 147 yards for the Jags in a 38-17 victory over Tennessee. 

And kicker Cairo Santos played his second career NFL game in Jacksonville, 41 miles from where he went to high school in St. Augustine, at St. Joseph Academy. 

Both had impressive games in the Bears’ 41-17 victory over the Jaguars. 

Robinson, who was not offered a contract by the Jaguars after missing the entire 2017 season with an injury, caught 10 passes for 103 yards, and Santos, who has kicked for five teams in seven seasons since playing at Tulane, kicked field goals of 20 and 40 yards in the first half, and converted all five of his extra-point attempts. 

Robinson became the fourth Bears receiver to reach 100 catches for the season, with one game left. While he likely can’t reach Brandon Marshall’s team record of 118 receptions in 2012, he’s tied with Marty Booker (2001) and Marshall (2013) for third on the all-time team list and is two catches behind Matt Forte (2014) for second place.

“100  means a lot, with the parity of this league,” he said. “The first time to ever get 100 catches, happening here in Duval, is pretty funny … I tried not to get too much into the emotional side of it. After the season, it will be something cool as far as how that played out.” 

Bears safety Tashaun Gipson, who played with Robinson in Jacksonville from 2016-18, said Robinson might be keeping a little of the personal satisfaction inside. 

"It was business as usual for ARob,” Gipson said. “He's been the same guy. His emotions don't get too crazy.  You have to respect a guy like that. It wasn't as personal for ARob as people might assume. Is it a little sweet? Absolutely. If they let you walk, those things are personal." 

Even Bears coach Matt Nagy felt good about Robinson reaching the century mark on a field where he had four prior 100-yard receiving games in the past. 

“Pretty cool,” Nagy said. 

Robinson was especially clutch on third-down and fourth-down plays. Six of his receptions converted those situations. During a 21-point third-quarter explosion that put the game away, Robinson caught an 8-yard pass from Mitch Trubisky that converted a fourth-and-five at the Jaguars 36, leading to Trubisky’s 6-yard TD run. He then caught a 13-yard pass to convert a third-and-two on a drive capped by David Montgomery’s 6-yard score for a 27-10 Bears lead. 

Robinson said the Bears didn’t change much to turn a 13-10 halftime lead into a 34-10 margin entering the final period. 

“Nothing too much,” when asked if the Bears adjusted. “I thought we left some plays out there on the field in the first half. We stuck to our game plan, executed on third down and got the running game going. 

Santos is perfect on three career games at TIAA Bank Field. He made 4-of-4 field-goal attempts and a conversion in a 19-14 victory for Kansas City over the Jags in 2016 and had an extra point in last year’s 20-7 loss when he played with Tennessee. 

Santos has now hit 27 of 29 field-goal attempts and 35 of 36 conversions for the Bears this season, scoring 116 points.

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