The job of filling in for injured Matt Forte was a committee approach, with little-used Ka’Deem Carey getting his first start and alternating with Jeremy Langford, and Langford getting the heavier load.
Langford’s layout catch for 31 yards netted a first-quarter third-down conversion was highlight-reel stuff. Langford was crisp and decisive getting into holes, avoiding jump-cuts or jitter-stepping to lose forward momentum. He also took a swing pass 16 yards on the Bears’ first possession of the second half.
The backs rushed 26 times for a total of 111 yards – 72 by Langford, 28 for Carey and 11 yards for Antone Smith on his one carry.
“Really it was kind of what we expected, and we expected a lot,” said coach John Fox. “Both [Langford] and Ka’Deem and even Antone got in there and busted a run for pretty good distance. They’re pretty good players and it means a lot to them, and I’m glad they’re on our side.”
Langford and Carey were solid in pass protection, part of the reason Jay Cutler was sacked just once in 41 dropbacks, with five other hits registered.
Moon's Grade: A
Matt Forte was on course for his typical solid all-around season rushing and receiving before the knee injury vs. Minnesota. He ranked among the league leaders with 548 yards plus 25 receptions for another 219.
Langford and Carey were rarely called upon before the Forte injury and delivered in the win over San Diego. But the Bears had not rushed for 100 yards total in any of the five games prior to the Chargers, not all on the running backs, but neither were Forte and the others exceptional.
Moon's Mid-year Grade: B