Inside Slant: September 18

The Bears evened their record at 1-1 with a 20-10 win over the Chiefs, but now they face a Cowboys teams in prime time that looks to be clicking on all cylinders offensively. Get the Inside Slant from the NFL experts at

Cedric Benson has rushed for over 100 yards in two of his last three regular-season games after getting 101 on 24 carries vs. the Chiefs. He had 109 yards on 13 carries in the 2006 finale vs. the Packers.

After he was held to 42 yards on 19 carries last week (2.2-yard average) and the Bears managed just 80 rushing yards on 26 attempts (3.1-yard average), they refocused on establishing the ground game.

"It's a big part of our success," Benson said. "It's a wonderful opportunity for me. I take pride in running the football on a team that takes pride in running the football."

So, Benson was told, this is a good team for you.

"Yeah," he said, laughing.

Benson was more serious about his role in the fourth quarter, when the Bears were protecting a 20-10 lead and he rushed six times for 27 yards to help keep the clock and the ball moving.

"The fourth quarter's a running back's time," Benson said. "It's time to buckle up and pound them and move the chains and take time off the clock. I get real hungry in the fourth quarter." ...

When the call came in for a pass to 6'5", 315-pound backup offensive tackle John St. Clair from the Chiefs' two-yard line, the eight-year veteran wasn't surprised because the Bears have practiced the play for years.

"I wasn't shocked," said St. Clair, who played tight end as a freshman at Virginia before moving inside to tackle. "But no one checked me. I was over there wide open. Rex did a great job of floating the ball in for me."

St. Clair, who caught an 18-yard pass on Monday Night Football as a member of the Rams, wanted to share his accomplishment with his fellow offensive linemen.

"I was looking for them to give the ball to them," he said. "They deserve the credit. They're out there fighting the whole game. I just made one play. I was trying to give them the ball, but everyone [crowded around] me, so I couldn't do that."

St. Clair also filled in at right tackle for three snaps when starter Fred Miller left briefly after suffering a stinger late in the third quarter ...

Asked to describe Devin Hester, Tommie Harris was ready with the superlatives.

"He's amazing, lightning. He's fast. He's great. He's all that," Harris said. "He's Devin Hester. He's the Windy City. He's a guaranteed seven points when he has the ball in his hands. He's The Man."

Quarterback Rex Grossman was unable to get the ball to Hester, who played just a handful of snaps on offense, but he'd like to take advantage of his open-field running abilities. His only pass to Hester was too hot to handle and glanced off his hands.

"He just runs with so much confidence," Grossman said. "It's like he's just playing tag out there and just messing with them." ...

The Bears turned the ball over four times last week in the 14-3 loss to the Chargers and three times in Sunday's victory over the Chiefs, so according to coach Lovie Smith, they're headed in the right direction.

"We had four the first, three the second?" Smith asked. "[We're] making progress. Hopefully we get it down a little bit more the next game."

WR Muhsin Muhammad has just two catches this season for 15 yards and hasn't made it through an entire week of practice with what the Bears claim is a minor ankle injury ...

WR Bernard Berrian leads the Bears with 10 catches for 148 yards ...

P Brad Maynard, who missed Week 2 with a sore groin, expects to be back for Week 3 ...

TE Greg Olsen, who missed the first two weeks with a sprained left knee, is expected to make his regular-season debut this week ...

DE Alex Brown, who left Sunday's game briefly with a sprained right ankle, returned and finished the game.

– Rex Grossman played a solid first half, completing 13 of 20 passes for 120 yards. But in the second half, he was 7-of-14 for 40 yards and intercepted twice. Grossman finished with a passer rating of 56.0. Former go-to WR Muhsin Muhammad had just one catch for seven yards, although Bernard Berrian stepped up with five catches for 65 yards. Backup OT John St. Clair caught a two-yard TD pass after lining up as an extra tight end.

RUSHING OFFENSE: C-plus – Cedric Benson rushed for 101 yards on 24 carries, but the Bears totaled just 107 rushing yards as a team, which isn't spectacular against the Chiefs defense.

PASS DEFENSE: C-plus – S Danieal Manning had an end-zone interception on a ball that was unintentionally tipped to him by CB Charles Tillman, who was just trying to break up a pass, and Tillman forced a fumble that the Bears recovered after a short reception by RB Michael Bennett. But three different K.C. receivers had catches of more than 25 yards.

RUSH DEFENSE: B-plusLarry Johnson was held to 55 yards on 16 carries with a long gain of 10 yards, and as a team the Chiefs managed just 70 rushing yards on 24 tries for a 2.9-yard average. LBs Brian Urlacher and especially Lance Briggs were active in run defense, each hitting double figures in tackles, and DTs Tommie Harris and Darwin Walker both stood out.

SPECIAL TEAMS: A – Devin Hester took a punt back 73 yards for a TD and had a 95-yard kickoff-return TD called back because of holding. Hester had 143 yards on five punt returns. PK Robbie Gould was two-for-two, hitting from 47 and 38 despite working with a new holder, P Dirk Johnson, who replaced Brad Maynard (groin). Johnson was excellent, with a gross average of 49.8 yards and a 39.3-yard net.

COACHING: C-minus – The Bears offense once again seemed unprepared for some of the opponents' blitzes, as Grossman was sacked three times for the second straight week.

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