The Chicago Bears have struggled to establish the run through the first two weeks of the NFL season.
That was especially true during the Week 2 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday Night Football.
In the first half, the Bears had just seven rushing attempts for a net of 10 yards. For an offense that was supposed to feature a run-heavy attack, that seems counterproductive.
But believe it or not, it’s happened more recently with the Bears than you may think.
Under Marc Trestman, the Bears had seven or fewer first-half rushing attempts in five games during the 2014 season. The fewest first-half rushing attempts that season came in Week 7 when they attempted just four in a loss to the Miami Dolphins.
The Bears went 1-4 in those four games, with the only win coming against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
During the John Fox era, the previous low was just eight first half attempts in last season’s loss to the Washington Redskins.
Fox addressed the issue this week and said the Bears will re-emphasize the run going forward.
“Regardless of the quarterback, we do emphasize the run game,” Fox said. “In fact, per carry, really our stats aren't bad. We just haven't been in situations in the first two ball games that have allowed us to run it in the second half as much as we'd like.”
The Bears have just 38 rushing attempts all season (6th fewest in the NFL), which is 41 percent of the play calls by coordinator Dowell Loggains. In the first half of games this season, they are only running the ball 38 percent of the time.
Chicago led at halftime in Week 1 against Houston and trailed by just two at the break against the Eagles. It will be interesting to see how the Bears approach the run game moving forward.
Other stats of note:
- The Bears have scored just 28 total points this season, 3rd fewest in the NFL. That’s the lowest point total in the first two weeks of the season since 2007, when the Rex Grossman-led offense scored just 23. The Bears opened that season 1-1 with a loss to the San Diego Chargers and a win over the Kansas City Chiefs.
- Since acquiring Jay Cutler in 2009, the Bears are just 5-10 in games he doesn’t start. They have lost four out of the last five games Cutler hasn’t started, including the last two in a row started by Jimmy Clausen.
- Brian Hoyer, who will start in place of Cutler on Sunday night, becomes the 22nd different quarterback to start a game for the Bears since 2000.
- The Bears secondary has been a bright spot through two games. The defense is allowing just 195.6 passing yards per contest, which is sixth best in the league. Their average of 9.2 yards per completion is third best in the NFL.
- Opponents are converting 7.5 third downs per game on average against the Bears this season. That is tied with four teams for dead last in the NFL.
- The Dallas Cowboys have lost eight straight home games dating back to 2015. The Bears are currently undefeated at AT&T Stadium with a 2-0 record, including a win in prime time back in 2012.
- The Bears and Cowboys will meet on Sunday night as the top two teams in all-time regular season win percentage. Chicago tops the list at .571, with the Cowboys second at .569.
- John Fox is just 1-6 against the Dallas Cowboys in his career, with the one win coming at AT&T Stadium.
- Connor Barth and Phil Dawson are the only two kickers with at least five kickoffs this season that hasn't resulted in a touchback.
- Cutler and Cincinnati Bengals’ quarterback Andy Dalton have both been sacked 8 times through the first two games. That’s the most in the NFL thus far.
- P Pat O’Donnell had four punts on Monday for an average of 37.8 yards and is now ranked 26th in the NFL in punting through two weeks.