Chicago Bears: Where Is The Running Game?

Phil Sears-US PRESSWIRE

This spring and summer saw the Chicago Bears spend a great deal of their time and money in an attempt to upgrade their offense. Though the offensive line was neglected, which is a story for another day, they added three important pieces to the mix to give them what is, quite possibly, the most explosive group they’ve ever had overall.

They brought in Brandon Marshall via trade and Alshon Jeffery through the draft back in April. Also, the past couple of weeks might make it easy to forget that they also added free agent running back Michael Bush on a four-year deal as well.

There’s no doubt that the Bears have the potential to be a very explosive team offensively. Jay Cutler has the weapons through the air that he has lacked in his time in the Windy City. Marshall has been incredible and is on pace to set some franchise record numbers this season.

At times, this team looks like the elite offense that many think they can be. But at times it’s also a stagnant group that reminds us of the days that Ron Turner or Mike Martz were calling this offense. Through seven games, we’ve seen it go stagnant at points during more than one game. Part of that reason is the lack of a running game.

The lack of the run game isn’t due to the fact that the Bears can’t run the ball. Matt Forte and Michael Bush make up one of the best tandems in the backfield. You have the finesse back in Forte with the bruiser in Bush. Yet, in the past couple weeks, when we’ve seen the offense struggle mightily, the run game has been nowhere to be found.

Early on in Sunday’s escape of a win over the Carolina Panthers, Forte was running the ball and running well. His first four carries resulted in 44 years and a score. He finished the game with only 14, while Cutler continued to throw the ball despite the Panthers’ front four making his life miserable for the better part of three quarters. Bush has only 10 carries in the past two weeks combined prior to Week 8. He had just three on Sunday.

So where is the run game? Mike Tice has been very inconsistent in his playcalling early on. He has a tendency to get away from the run early, which puts too much pressure on the pass. Continued inconsistency in the offensive balance could end up hurting this Bears team down the stretch.

The Chicago Bears have one of the very best running backs in the league in Matt Forte. They also have one of the very best no. 2 guys in Michael Bush. It’s about time the Bears use them like it.


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