Al Afalava took a giant step in proving he belongs in the NFL.
The rookie did miss a few tackles, but was always around the ball Saturday night, and proved himself with an open-field stop for a loss on a dump-off pass to Marshawn Lynch. I like the aggressive way Afalava attacks the run, but he's still an unknown commodity in pass coverage. The longer Danieal Manning misses with a hamstring injury, the more likely Afalava retains a spot in the starting lineup. Of course the flip side is that Kevin Payne is forced to play free safety. So just like in the offseason workouts, the Bears essentially are playing with two strong safeties.