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First downs first for Bears offense

Posted by Larry Mayer on September 28, 2012 – 12:18 pm

The Bears will place a huge emphasis on staying out of predictable passing situations Monday night when they battle the NFL’s top-ranked defense in Dallas.

“We have to be better on first downs, first and foremost,” said offensive coordinator Mike Tice. “We’re bad on first down, so we’re putting ourselves in second-and-long a lot and then you’re fighting to get back to manageable on third down.

“Our goal this week is to do a lot better job, be more efficient on first down; get that four yards running the ball and throwing the ball, shoot for six yards and get ourselves in a better manageable second down.”

The Bears rank last in the NFL with an average gain of just 3.32 yards on first-down plays, while the Cowboys defense leads the league in that category, yielding only 3.78 yards. Quarterback Jay Cutler was sacked on the first play in each of the Bears’ first two games this season.

“You are always looking to improve and we can’t improve everything in one week, so we’re going to look to focus at being better on first down,” Tice said. “That’s what I talked to the guys about and we’re going to do.”

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