"There was still, I think, 11 minutes left," center Olin Kreutz said. "We could stick with the run. We were only down two scores. We could win. We stuck with the run and obviously the run working helped us stick with it -- it's hard to stick with the run when you're only getting 1 or 2 yards. When you're getting 10 yards a pop you can stick with it."
Jones hadn't rushed for more than 100 yards since the third game of the season. The 22 rushes were his most since the fifth game of the season. The 109 yards amounted to his third-best effort of the season.
He gained 70 second-half yards on 13 attempts to help balance the offense enough so quarterback Chad Hutchinson had time to go downfield in a touchdown drive that let the Bears pull within 19-13.
"The plan was to get the ball to Thomas, get the ball to Thomas as much as we possibly could, and we did a decent job of it," coach Lovie Smith said. "In previous games, we probably had gotten away from the run a little bit early and we wanted to try to stick with it.
"We thought, in time, we could get some holes."
Bears offensive coordinator Terry Shea acknowledged there have been times he has been too quick to leave the running game. This time the run made the pass work.
"I think the rhythm of the offense was better," he said.
Jones left the game in the second half briefly and Adrian Peterson got two rare carries.
It wasn't a benching for ineffective play.
"We had gone in with the idea that we wanted to get Adrian a few carries," said Shea.
Jones thought a few early rushes which produced modest gains had encouraged Shea to stick to the run.
"We had been pretty successful early in the game running the ball," he said. "That was definitely a part of our game where we could be productive.
"That's what we wanted to do in the second half. The run was working. Those plays, certain plays we were running were working. They were being productive and obviously you want to keep calling the same plays."