GLENDALE, Ariz. —Bears coach Matt Nagy had a message for Jordan Howard, Tarik Cohen and the men who block for them: we’re going to lean on you.
“He said at halftime he was going to put the ball in our hands, the running backs’ hands,” Howard said. “And we just tried to deliver the best way we could.”
They didn’t grind the Cardinals down. After earning 70 yards on 14 carries in the first half, the Bears gained 52 yards on 17 rushes in the second half.
Cohen’s lone second-half run went for 17 yards and got the Bears to the 1, though. Howard punched it in on the next play for the Bears’ only touchdown.
Howard finished with 24 carries for 61 yards, averaging less than half as many yards per carry as he did in the Bears’ opener. Nagy said his yardage total “didn’t feel like a lot” Sunday.
“That’s important — to get the run game going,” he said. “For us, collectively as an offense, we know we need to get better. The red zone, we need to, as a staff and players, get better … Field goals don’t win you games.”