Commentary: Run at Success

Even without Thomas Jones in the lineup, the Bears racked up 152 yards on the ground. In the process, the team showed a glimpse of how they will have to win with Chad Hutchinson under center.

Adrian Peterson proved he could be a featured back with a start against the Colts. Primarily against the first team defense, he carried the ball 14 times for 60 yards and a touchdown. The Bears decided to rest Jones with Cedric Benson still unsigned.

As a team, the Bears averaged 4.1 yards on 37 carries. The team has increased their total on the ground in each preseason game.

While Hutchinson struggled to find an open target, the running game continued to produce. Peterson carried the ball five times for 32 yards on the only drive that the first string offense produced points.

Hutchinson will have to improve his level of play, but the Bears were not only without Jones, but four-time Pro Bowl center Olin Kreutz sat as well.

The Chicago defense completely shutdown the Indianapolis running game. Edgerrin James managed four yards on six carries and lost two fumbles. In total, the Colts had 30 yards rushing on 18 carries, which is an average of 1.7 yards per attempt.

With the high-powered Indy offense turned into a one-dimensional attack, the defense went after Peyton Manning full throttle. Although the unit didn't sack Manning, they consistently put pressure on the five-time Pro Bowl quarterback. Looking at Manning's final stats will not tell the story of the game. He finished the night 8-of-13 for 80 yards and a touchdown for a passer rating of 104.6.

However, Manning's incomplete passes were not even close to the intended target. An offensive line that surrendered just 14 sacks last season claimed responsibility for two of three consecutive false start penalties. The jumpiness was due in part to the Chicago front four getting to Manning, who became visibly angry at the situation.

This is the best offense in the NFL and the defense stood strong for a quarter and a half. Something the unit failed to do on any level last season, when Indianapolis blew out the Bears 41-10 at Soldier Field.

Even in the face of adversity, Ron Rivera's unit responded. Hutchinson threw two interceptions, but the defense forced a three and out after the first pick, while forcing a James' fumble following the second turnover.

Rivera will be able to catch his unit's attention because of how the evening ended for the starters. The Colts got on the board with an 8-play, 58-yard drive that was capped with a 25-yard touchdown pass from Manning to Dominic Rhodes.

A personal foul penalty on Brian Urlacher for hitting Dallas Clark late gave Indianapolis a fresh set of downs. Manning then connected on his next two passes to end the shutout.

Still, the talk of being a top-ten defense gained legitimacy with the performance against the Colts, as did the team's chances of being a playoff contender.


Bear Report Top Stories