The Chicago Bears offense needs to lean more on the run game
The Bears' loss against the Los Angeles Chargers a week ago displayed many inadequacies, one of the most glaring of which was the offense's rushing attack, which generated just 73 yards, their worst total since week two. Outside of last week's primetime disappointment, the Bears have shown an ability and desire to run the ball, accumulating over 160 yards per game in their previous four outings, including Tyson Bagent's sole win as a starter against the Las Vegas Raiders.
To get back in the win column with a backup quarterback running the offense, it will be essential for the group to rely more on the ground game, which alters the game plan dramatically. As NBC's Cris Colinsworth pointed out last Sunday night, the Chicago Bears are not equipped to play from behind offensively, and if they want to stick to the script of being a run-first unit, it will be paramount for the Bears to score points early and establishing the run early.
In their first two drives against the Chargers, the Bears called only two rushes, the latter of which was an end around to Trent Taylor that cost the group two yards. By their third drive, the Bears were forced to abandon the rushing attack with any sincerity down 14-0 early in the game. To prevent a similar situation happening this week against a Saint's unit that allows over 100 rushing yards per game, the Bears must rely on their running backs to carry the offense throughout at least the first quarter of the game.
While D'Onta Foreman has comfortably manned the lead back duties since both Khalil Herbert and Roschon Johnson went down with injury, the latter is prepared to make more of an impact this week after coming back against the Chargers, where the former Texas rookie managed 31 yards on nine total touches. Behind an offensive line group that has seemed to find some momentum in the past few weeks, the Bears have an opportunity to establish their identity against a stout Saints defense that lacks some run-stopping help across the interior of their defensive line.
If the Bears can run the ball well early in the game, the Saints' defense will have no choice but to send more players into the defensive front, allowing Bagent to have easier reads downfield and provide receivers with more one-on-one opportunities. Complementary football is key to this team's success, and establishing the offensive identity early would help the Bears win across the board.