A closer look at the Bears issues on first down

SHARE A closer look at the Bears issues on first down

In today’s paper, I wrote extensively about the Bears averaging a league-worst 3.2 yards on first down. Mike Tice and Jay Cutler both insisted it’s a point of emphasis as they head into Dallas.

The story is here.

But, here’s some other interesting numbers I crunched.

Matt Forte has run the ball 11 times, and he’s managed just 14 yards. That’s right, 14 yards. Two of the runs were for losses, two were for no gain and three of them gained a single yard.

Michael Bush, meanwhile, has 19 carries for 83 yards, an average of 4.37 yards. He has no negative-yardage runs, two for no gain, and four for one yard, although one of those was a touchdown.

The running back who is struggling most, though, is Kahlil Bell, who got extensive playing time against the St. Louis Rams because Forte was inactive. Bell had five first-down carries, and he had three for no gain, one for a yard and one for a loss of four. Yikes.

Brandon Marshall has been a frequent target, and he’s been fairly productive. He has seven catches for 100 yards, including one touchdown. Jay Cutler and Marshall haven’t connected four times for incompletions, and Marshall was the target on one interception. But, Marshall has drawn two defensive pass interference calls.

Perhaps a player the Bears should go to more on first down?

How about rookie Alshon Jeffrey, who has four catches for 35 yards. Cutler has only had one incomplete pass that was intended for Jeffrey.

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