We are five games into the first year of Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Adam Gase’s offense and his game plan is already clear. Gase is utilizing running back Matt Forte as much as possible and setting up Jay Cutler for high-percentage passing attempts.
Forte is leading the charge for the Bears on offense. He currently leads the NFL in rushing yards with 438 and is second in yards from scrimmage with 609 yards. The Bears organization ranks second all-time with six rushing titles.
Through five weeks, no player in the NFL touched the ball more than Forte – 120 touches: 102 rushing attempts, 18 receptions. At 29 years old, he’s currently on pace for 1,401 rushing yards, which would be a career high. His 461 career receptions are second in franchise history, just 31 behind Walter Payton’s 492. It’s very likely Forte will set the club’s all-time receptions mark this season.
With Cutler not taking many deep shots, the Bears receivers have been pretty lackluster to say the least. They’ve struggled at the position, due in large part to injuries.
As a result, no Bears wideout has had more than 100 yards in a game this season. The last Bears pass catcher to record 100 or more receiving yards was tight end Martellus Bennett, doing so last season against this week’s opponent, the Detroit Lions. Bennett had eight receptions for 109 yards in the Bears loss at Soldier Field in Week 13.
Key Stats of Note
- WR Alshon Jeffery could return for the Bears this week against the Lions, a team he’s had a lot of success against. In five career games Jeffery has 33 receptions, 4 TDs and 440 yards. He also has two games of at least 100 receiving yards against the Lions.
- Penalties have been a big problem for the Bears this season. Through five weeks the team has committed 39 penalties, 11th most in the NFL. The majority are pre-snap penalties. The Bears are tied for the league lead with 13 pre-snap penalties on offense.
- Jay Cutler has played better this season but currently ranks 28th in the league with a 60.2 completion percentage. There is good news for Cutler, as the Lions defense has been horrid against the pass. Opposing quarterbacks are averaging a 77.2 percent completion percentage against Detroit’s secondary.
- On paper, you’d think the Bears defense is struggling, allowing 28.5 points per game, fifth most in the NFL. But mixed into that stat are two return touchdowns on special teams. Without those points, Chicago’s defense is allowing 22.8 points per game. The defense has done its job defensively in the second half lately, as they have allowed just six total points combined during the second half of their last two games, and held the Chiefs to just 52 yards on their final five drives combined.
- Martellus Bennett’s nine third-down receptions (for 73 yards) are tied for 12th most in the NFL. On the flipside, according to Pro Football Focus (PFF), Bennett’s three drops are second most at his position. In addition, opposing defenses have intercepted three passes intended for Bennett, most among tight ends.
- Cornerback Alan Ball has a 146.9 QB rating against, third worst in the league among corners, per PFF. Kyle Fuller’s 131.1 is ninth worst, while nickelback Sherrick McManis’ 129.2 rating is 11th worst. McManis is also third at the position with three touchdowns allowed. Chicago’s secondary has yet to intercept a pass this season.