With the focus being on the injuries to quarterback Jay Cutler,not much has been made of the fact that Bears running back Matt Forte had the worst game of his career against the Detroit Lions last Sunday.
Forte compiled only 33 rushing yards on 17 carries against the Lions on defense. As a team, the Bears rushed for a total of 38 yards in the game.
The concern with the Bears running games begins with the offensive line. In particular, starting left tackle Jermon Bushrod has struggled the most when it comes to run-blocking. At times this season, Bushrod has appeared to be confused; often choosing the wrong defender to block thus allowing the running play to be blown up.
Meanwhile, the struggles of running back Ray Rice has plagued the Baltimore Ravens offense this season. Rice is averaging 2.5 yards per carry for the Ravens this season. Rice’s 2.5 yards per carry this season is the lowest it has been throughout the running back’s entire career. As a team, the Ravens rushing offense is ranked among the lowest three teams in the NFL this season. The Ravens are averaging 73.1 rushing yards per game this season.
Despite the struggles of the Ravens rushing offense this season and the recent struggles of the Bears rushing offense, the running game will likely dictate the game between the Bears and Ravens on Sunday.
The Chicago area has been hit with rain on Saturday and the rain is expected to continue through the Bears game Sunday. Given the poor weather conditions and the presumed poor conditions of the Soldier Field turf, both the Ravens and Bears may depend on the running game to establish offensive success on Sunday.
Something is bound to give on Sunday between the Ravens rushing offense and the Bears defense against the run. While the Ravens are one of the league’s worst rushing teams, the Bears defense is one of the league’s worst against the run. The Bears defense is allowing 129.4 rushing yards per game; a mark that is the second highest in the NFL.
The running game will certainly play a factor in the game between the Bears and Ravens on Sunday. If Forte and the offensive line are able to bounce back from their game against the Lions, the Bears may be in a position to defeat the Ravens on Sunday.