After averaging 101 yards on the ground during their first four games, the Bears have rushed for 214 and 171 yards versus the Jaguars and Lions, respectively, in their last two contests.
“We’ve kept our commitment to it; you have to start with that,” said coach Lovie Smith. “It helps so much when you can run the ball, which we’ve been able to do the last couple weeks.
“When you have two running backs too like Michael Bush—the yards that he has given us—along with a special player in Matt Forte, why wouldn’t you run the ball?”
Forte has run the ball extremely well against Sunday’s opponent, the Carolina Panthers. In fact, the two most productive games of his five-year NFL career have both come against the Panthers with 205 yards on 25 carries last season and 166 yards on 22 attempts in 2010.
“Matt’s had exceptional days both times and made us look good,” said center Roberto Garza. “Up front we have to do a little bit better job than we did this past week. We left a lot of plays on the field technique-wise, so hopefully we can get better and move on.”
Offensive coordinator Mike Tice said that against the Jaguars and Lions the line played its two most physical games in his three seasons with the Bears.
“We’re coming along,” Garza said. “It’s been a focus for us, the rival game against Detroit, knowing what kind of front they are. But you want an offensive line to be physical every tine, create movement and get on those guys and stay on those guys.”
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