Maybe this will be the week that the 1-2 Bears actually commit to the run game and not just pay it lip service when the 1-2 Panthers come to town.
After the 30-13 loss to the Saints in Week Two, when offensive coordinator Mike Martz called just 11 running plays and 52 pass plays, he promised that such an egregious imbalance would be corrected in Week Three. Well, in Week Three, Martz called for just nine run plays and 43 pass plays in a 27-17 loss to the Packers.
Even worse was the production - just 13 yards on the ground on 12 attempts, including three scrambles by quarterback Jay Cutler.
That wasn't the lowest rushing output in franchise history, but it was the worst since at least 1960.
The all-time low is one yard in 1952.
There was a simple reason the Bears didn't give their ground game more opportunities to shift out of neutral against the Packers.
"We didn't run the ball because we weren't able to," said running back Matt Forte, who should know after picking up two yards on nine carries. "We just played bad out there. Obviously when they shut the run down, you're going to try to throw the ball a little more."
In back-to-back losses, Martz has called for 20 runs and 95 passes. The Bears have actually had 24 running plays, but four of them were pass plays that resulted in scrambles by quarterback Jay Cutler.
"If you don't get your running game going, you have to look at what the other side of the ball did," said coach Lovie Smith, who was dissatisfied with the run-pass balance in Week Two. "(The Packers) played good, sound defense. You have to give them a lot of the credit. Their front seven is solid and it showed today."
Forte entered Week Three second in the NFL with 324 yards from scrimmage (117 rushing, 207 receiving), and he was able to pick up 80 yards on a team-best seven catches.
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