What’s Wrong with the Chicago Bears Rushing Attack?
Sep 22, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets cornerback Darrin Walls (30) tackles Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte (22) during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
It’s not just you. The Chicago Bears rushing attack has been horrible the first three weeks. How horrible? How about last in the league horrible? The Bears rank 32nd in the NFL with a pithy 64 yards per game. Has Matt Forte lost a step? Are the Bears just doomed to be a lousy running team at the expense of having a decent passing attack? Don’t panic Bears fans. There are some reasons to explain what’s wrong with the Chicago Bears rushing attack?
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Matt Slauson and Roberto Garza both went out in the first half of the Week 1 loss to the Buffalo Bills with ankle injuries. Both were ranked highly last season by ProFootball Focus. Slauson ranked as the 6th best guard in the league and finished 2013 with a +11.5 in run blocking. Garza ranked as the 12th best center in the league out of 35 centers who were graded, finishing with a +5.7 in his run blocking. Brian de la Puente has done really well subbing for Garza, currently ranked as the top center in the league by PFF’s grades. Michael Ola has held his own as Slauson’s replacement, but he’s graded as a -1.0 in run blocking.
To make matters worse, Tony Fiammetta has been hobbled by injuries, only playing 6 snaps so far this season. Without the benefit of a fullback, Forte doesn’t get that lead blocker that can often help spring a big play.