Inside Slant: October 9

The Bears got back in the NFC North hunt with a come-from-behind victory over Green Bay at Lambeau Field on Sunday evening, but now they need to carry that momentum into Week 6 against Minnesota. Get the Inside Slant from the NFL experts at

Cedric Benson's season-low 15 carries (for 50 yards) last week is not the direction the Bears want their running game headed. Benson has topped 50 yards just once this season, when he rushed for 101 yards against the Chiefs on 24 carries.

"We definitely want Cedric to get more than 15 carries," offensive coordinator Ron Turner said.

Critics have suggested that Benson might be more effective if he ran with a chip on his shoulder, but he doesn't agree.

"I haven't deciphered like, under what conditions, hot or cold, sunny or dark, whether I run better or not," he said. "But I don't think it's all that necessary to be mad at somebody. It's just a matter of turning the ship around and just doing it. It's tough to put into words, you just have to go out there and crank it up."

The Bears did go to Benson more often against the Packers, but the numbers weren't much better, as he finished with 64 yards on 27 carries.

But because the Bears stuck with Benson, it opened up other avenues of the attack, including the game-winning TD pass.

"The big thing was we ran the football well," quarterback Brian Griese said. "That set up some play-action passes." ...

Turner was hoping to get rookie tight end Greg Olsen more involved after he failed to catch any passes last week, and it was mission accomplished Sunday night as Olsen led the Bears with four catches and was second with 57 yards.

"It's exciting to finally get in there and have them call my number," said Olsen, whose 19-yard TD catch in the third quarter pulled the Bears to within 20-17. "The offense really stepped up tonight when we needed to."

Olsen's 27-yard catch helped set up the game-winning TD pass to Desmond Clark.

"This was the first week we really featured him," Griese said of Olsen. "He made some plays. He's definitely a talent." ...

After four games, the Bears had 16 sacks and were tied for the league lead with the Giants, but that wasn't resulting in much success.

"It doesn't matter," said defensive tackle Tommie Harris, who had three of the sacks. "We're 1-3. It's not helping. We're 1-3."

Defensive coordinator Bob Babich was pleased with the early returns on the pass rush, but not the big picture.

"The only stat we care about," Babich said, "is wins and losses."

The Bears got to Brett Favre just once all night for a 4-yard loss on Harris' fourth sack of the season, tied for team best. But they intercepted him twice.


WR Bernard Berrian
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
WR Devin Hester was not allowed to field a single kickoff against the Packers, who kicked high and short all evening, but he had four punt returns for 40 yards. ... Olsen caught his first NFL TD, a 19-yarder, led the Bears with four catches and was second with 57 receiving yards. ... Clark led the Bears with 62 receiving yards on three catches, including the game-winning 34-yard TD grab. ... WR Bernard Berrian, who led the Bears in receiving in each of the first four games, had just one catch for 10 yards before leaving in the second half with a toe injury. ... Benson averaged just 2.4 yards per carry, picking up 64 yards on 27 carries.

– Griese was much sharper in his second start than his first, completing 15 of 25 passes for 214 yards, two touchdowns and one interception for a passer rating of 97.8. He connected on a perfectly thrown pass to Clark for the game-winning TD with 2:05 left. Griese utilized nine different receivers. TEs Clark and Olsen combined for seven catches, 119 yards and two touchdowns, picking up the slack for the wideouts, who managed a total of four catches for 52 yards.

RUSHING OFFENSE: D – Benson's longest run on 27 carries was 11 yards and he averaged just 2.4 yards per carry, but he forced the Packers to respect the run and helped open up some play-action passes. The Bears totaled only 82 yards, averaging 2.5 per try.

PASS DEFENSE: C – The Bears were picked apart in the first half, allowing Favre to complete 19 of 22 passes for 243 yards, but CB Charles Tillman forced two fumbles to stop scoring threats. In the second half, the Bears picked Favre off twice – one by LB Brian Urlacher and the other by S Brandon McGowan – and allowed just 69 yards on 18 pass attempts.

RUSH DEFENSE: C-plus – The Bears were gouged for 102 yards in the first half, but they permitted just 19 yards on nine carries after that. 44 of the rushing yards came on one run by DeShawn Wynn on the first series. LB Lance Briggs was a one-man highlight film with a career-best 19 tackles, including 15 solos.

SPECIAL TEAMS: B-minus – PK Robbie Gould connected from 36 and 44 and P Brad Maynard was solid, plus he recovered a fumble that set up one of Gould's field goals. The Packers didn't allow Hester a kickoff return, but he got 40 yards on four punt returns. Coverage allowed a 65-yard kickoff return that set up a field goal.

COACHING: B – The Bears stuck with the running game even though production on the ground was modest, and it eventually opened up some passing opportunities. Offensive coordinator Ron Turner worked the rookie Olsen into the equation with positive results. Lovie Smith's halftime tongue-lashing seemed to help the defense focus in the second half.

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