Chicago Bears vs. Baltimore Ravens: Offensive grades

(Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
(Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /
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chicago bears
(Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /

Running Backs: A

I saw someone who’s opinion I respect posit that Jordan Howard simply didn’t look like the same guy who finished second in the league in rushing last season anymore after he got stuffed in the backfield at one point yesterday.

Respectfully, I adamantly disagree. If anything, the work Howard has been putting in this season is far more impressive.

For one thing, his numbers haven’t really been that bad and could likely continue improving. He’s averaging a full yard less per carry last year (4.2 vs. 5.2) but still checks in as the league’s fifth-leading rusher. Plus, he’s scored four touchdowns, which should hopefully get him easily into double digits by the end of the season.

And he’s doing it all through far more adversity than he faced in his rookie season.

Everyone knows that he, even with Mitch Trubisky at quarterback, remains the Chicago Bears’ bread and butter. The stacked boxes he faced against Minnesota and Baltimore speak to that.

And yet, Howard keeps churning out yards when there seemingly are none to be gained. No play illustrated that more than his inspired 53-yard run in overtime. Hurt or not, well-blocked or not, he just keeps on scrapping and setting the table for this offense.

Plus, his huge play in extended time helped negate a horrible mental error in which he ran out of bounds at the end of the fourth quarter to leave time on the clock for Joe Flacco and the Ravens offense. Fortunately, they sucked yesterday and couldn’t capitalize.

Speaking of wiping out bad plays…Cohen’s late fumble obviously didn’t make anyone happy, but who didn’t love that touchdown pass? I’ll call that a push.

And on top of that, Cohen ran far better on the whole, especially between the tackles, than he had in weeks.

If the Chicago Bears want to take advantage of the void created by Aaron Rodgers’ injury, they’re going to need more games like this from their two stud backs.