The Bears can't feel very optimistic on the other side of the ball either. They allowed their own quarterback, Jay Cutler, to be sacked six times and hurried many other times against a Saints defense that comes with some exotic blitzes but doesn't have anyone the caliber of Packers linebacker Clay Matthews, when it comes to getting after the passer.
The Saints blitzed everyone except defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, and too often the Bears were either overwhelmed by numbers or just didn't make their blocks.
But, when you run the ball 12 times all day and just two times in the entire second half, it's easy for the opposing defense to send everyone but the Maytag repairman after the quarterback. In the fourth quarter, the Bears didn't run the ball at all.
Cutler was asked if the Bears need to run the ball more to keep the blitzing wolves at bay.
"I don't know, you have to talk to (offensive coordinator) Mike (Martz) about that," he said. "You get in a hole like we were, down two or three scores, you're going to have to throw the ball a little bit. I think we have to get Matt (Forte) going early on. We have to set the tone with him and get the ball to him because he's obviously one of our better players."
On his second carry of the game, Forte busted loose for 42 yards. He had just eight more carries for the rest of the game, finishing with 49 yards on 10 attempts, in addition to 117 more yards on 10 receptions.
Part of the reason Forte had so many receptions is because even when Cutler wasn't buried by the pass rush, he had to dump the ball off quickly to avoid another sack.
The offensive line is a long way from a finished product, and it was missing Lance Louis, the opening-day starter at right guard, who was out with a sprained ankle and replaced by Chris Spencer. In the second quarter, right tackle Gabe Carimi suffered a knee injury and was replaced by Frank Omiyale. The ear-splitting crowd noise didn't help.
"It's not near where we need to be," center Roberto Garza said. "It's not acceptable. We knew what they were going to do, we just have to get it done and we didn't do that. (Cutler) took some hard hits, and that falls on our shoulders."
That load could get a lot heavier this week.
— OT Gabe Carimi suffered a discloated knee. The Bears' first-round pick out of Wisconsin might miss four weeks.
— FS Major Wright suffered a concussion and is expected to be out this week.
— WR Earl Bennett suffered a chest injury in the first half and did not return.
— RB Matt Forte caught a career-best 10 passes for 117 yards and rushed 10 times for 49 yards.
— WR Dane Sanzenbacher, an undrafted rookie, caught three passes for 33 yards, including his first NFL touchdown, an eight-yard toss from Jay Cutler.
LINEUP WATCH: The safety position is up for grabs, and not in a good way. Free safety Major Wright suffered a concussion in Week 2 and won't play this week. Strong safety Chris Harris missed Week 2 with a hamstring injury. Newcomer Brandon Meriweather is learning the defense, veteran Craig Steltz is a career backup and rookie Chris Conte is raw.
BY THE NUMBERS: The Bears ran the ball a total of 11 times in Week 2, plus one scramble by Jay Cutler. They had two running plays in the second half and none in the fourth quarter.
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