Bears

Huge game by running backs not enough for Bears offense

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Huge game by running backs not enough for Bears offense

The Bears rushed for 170 yards against the San Francisco 49ers, but it simply wasn't enough in a tough loss Sunday at Soldier Field.

It was clear from the get-go that the Bears were committed to their ground game, calling 39 designed runs against the Niners (and quarterback Jay Cutler added three scrambles).

"That's what we were trying to do - establish the run," Matt Forte said. "The run is important - you get time of possession, you're able to keep their offense off the field and you have to grind it out."

[RELATED - Gould shoulders blame for Bears loss: 'I feel bad for my teammates']

The Bears made third-string running back Ka'Deem Carey active for Sunday's game and given he provides nothing on special teams, it was clear he was going to get some work on the ground.

Carey rushed the ball five times for 17 yards, seeing time on the field on the Bears' last two offensive drives in regulation, including a four-yard plunge into the endzone, the first touchdown of his NFL career.

"It felt so good, I'm not going to lie," Carey said after the game. "I was watching them run the ball and you're thinking, 'I want to get me some part of this, be part of this three-headed monster.'

"You're anxious, so when they call your number, you're ready to go."

The Bears started out switching off between Matt Forte and Jeremy Langford on drives before putting Carey in during the second quarter.

After picking up his first rush, Carey was immediately flagged for holding on the next play, stalling a Bears drive shortly before halftime.

"I felt sick," Carey said. "But as a professional, you gotta shake it off. You gotta go back in there and make a play."

[SHOP: Gear up Bears fans!]

Forte - who declared himself 100 percent after his knee injury - finished with 21 carries for 84 yards and a touchdown while also catching all five of his targets for 39 yards.

Jeremy Langford rushed 12 times for 59 yards and caught two passes for nine yards, but did drop a key third-down target early in the game.

"I could've had a chance to get that first down," Langford said. "You never know what can happen after that. There are plays after every game - win or lose - that are left on the field."

NFC North standings: Bears fall to last in division with Week 7 loss to Patriots

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USA TODAY

NFC North standings: Bears fall to last in division with Week 7 loss to Patriots

The great Ricky Bobby once said, “If you ain’t first, you’re last.” Talladega Nights hit a little too close to home for the Bears in Week 7.

They came into Sunday at 3-2 at the top of the NFC North. After a 38-31 loss to the New England Patriots, they dropped to the bottom of the division.

The Detroit Lions defeated the Miami Dolphins 32-21 to improve to 3-3, leaving them tied with the Bears in the cellar.

The Minnesota Vikings’ 37-17 victory over the New York Jets jumped them to 4-2-1 overall and first place in the division over the 3-2-1 Green Bay Packers, who were off for their bye week.

The NFC North remains the most tightly contested division in the NFL, the only one with no teams under .500 through seven weeks of the season.

The final standings may not be decided until Week 17, and the Bears have already blown the early season cushion they built for themselves while the Vikings and Packers were struggling.

The divisional action will pick up in November, and Chicago only has a pair of games left to put it all together before back-to-back-to-back games against the Lions, Vikings and Lions again.    

Under Center Podcast: Bears lose 38-31 to the Patriots

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USA TODAY

Under Center Podcast: Bears lose 38-31 to the Patriots

Matt Forte, Lance Briggs and Alex Brown join Laurence Holmes to break down the Bears 38-31 loss to the Patriots. What happened to the Bears defense over their bye week, and how did the special teams struggle so bad against New England? Plus – the guys debate Mitchell Trubisky’s decision making in the red zone and Matt weighs in on how the Bears should play his former team – the New York Jets – next week.

0:35– Special teams to blame for loss?

4:12– Where did the Bears pass rush go? 

5:27– Bad tackling followed Bears from Miami

7:25– Are the coaches to blame for the defense after the bye?

10:10– Evaluating Mitchell Trubisky’s game

11:55– Agree with Matt Nagy on Mitch’s “mental” game?

13:30– Trubisky’s red zone decision making

17:10– Are the Bears giving away games so Mitch can learn?

18:00– Bears need to run the ball more

21:04– Matt Forte scouts his former team, the New York Jets

Listen to the full podcast here or in the embedded player below.

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