Bears vs. Packers: Five Takeaways From Week 1 Match-up

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Sep 13, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte (22) runs past Green Bay Packers free safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (21) during the first quarter at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Bears Rushing Attack Better than Advertised

The Bears actually out-gained the Packers in total yardage in this contest by a fairly wide margin (402 to 322). Their offense looked very good at times in this one, and that is mostly a compliment towards Matt Forte and the running game.

Forte looked crisp and fresh, while patiently waiting for his offensive line to open up holes on run plays. Forte’s patient approach was rewarded as the line consistently opened up holes for him to run through, and he fished the game with 141 yards on 24 carries (5.9 yards per carry average).

Forte also scored the Bears’ first touchdown of the 2015 season on a one-yard plunge early in the second quarter. Forte’s touchdown capped off an impressive 15-play 80-yard drive, where the Bears’ running back carried a majority of the load. On that drive, Forte carried the ball 10 times for 62 yards.

That drive was a perfect example of Fox and offensive coordinator Adam Gase leaning on the running game when it is successful. It was a refreshing change of pace from the last couple of seasons, when the Bears’ coaching staff seemingly refused to let the running game get any sort of rhythm going, opting for far too many passes instead.

While he certainly deserves a lot of it, Forte does not deserve all of the credit for the Bears’ success on the ground. From left to right, Jermon Bushrod, Matt Slauson, Will Montgomery, Vlad Ducasse and Long all had great games in the run blocking department. They had their struggles in pass protection (namely Bushrod and Long), but this powerful offensive line was able to dominate the Packers’ front in the run game.

Forte is an established back who appears to have plenty of life left in his legs. If the offensive line can keep this up, and the coaching staff remains committed to the run, the Bears could have one of the elite rushing attacks in the NFL this season.

Next: Lack of Pass Rush