Offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer was not in the mood for “what’s wrong with… .” questions about how well the Bears offense is running the football, or protecting its quarterback, for that matter. The Bears wobbled through a miserable first quarter against the New Orleans Saints and Kromer was not interested in basing evaluations of the offense on that quarter.
“Well, right now if you look at statistically where we are, and that’s all a lot of people do, we’re seventh in the league in rushing yards per carry and we’re sixth in the league in sacks given up,” Kromer said. The Bears are actually tied for sixth in rushing with a 4.6-yard average per carry.
“So if we have one quarter and everyone panics that we can’t play football anymore in Chicago, I say they’re wrong. Because when you really look at the whole season and the whole product that we’ve put out there at this point we are in the top 10 in both of those categories.”
While attention has been directed at wide receiver Brandon Marshall’s issues with not seeing the football often enough, Matt Forte is the one who perhaps the most room for complaint. He is fourth in the NFL with 575 total yards from scrimmage and has three rushing touchdowns, also tied for fourth.
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Yet his carries have declined from 20 vs. Minnesota to 16 at Pittsburgh, 14 at Detroit and 12 against New Orleans. The 20 carries against Minnesota were supplemented with 10 pass receptions, an area that has declined to an average of 4.3 per game over the past three.
The New York Giants are doing nothing particularly well at this point and the best way to take the heart out of a defense is to methodically push it backwards. New York is 14th in the league defensively in rushing average (3.9 per carry).
Forte is an offensive key because he represents high-percentage plays. He lost one fumble last season on a total of 292 touches. Mishandling a pitchout on last Sunday’s first snap was the aberration and he lost a fumble vs. Minnesota, so there’s his one for the year.
“Yeah, he had one fumble and he had one missed key, so he had a horrible game,” Kromer said. “But that’s football. It’s an imperfect game played by imperfect people and every week someone gets on the news and says, ‘hey, we had mistakes and that’s what lost the game.’
“You have to overcome them. There are going to be mistakes in a game. You have to play the next play and play better the next play so you can win the game.”