The Chicago Bears need to be more stout up the middle.
On Sunday afternoon, the Chicago Bears snuck out of Detroit with an improbable victory against the Lions. For most of the game, things did not go well for the Bears. This is particularly true in the run game, which must improve dramatically before this weekend’s game against Saquon Barkley and the New York Giants.
The team seemed to do a decent job against the run in the first half, but the Lions really wore them down as the game went on. Detroit finished the game with a total of 138 yards on 29 carries. They seemed to struggle the most trying to stop veteran Adrian Peterson who signed with the Lions just before the start of the season.
Peterson accounted for 93 of those yards on just 14 carries good for 6.6 yards per carry. Ironically, despite having a big lead, head coach Matt Patricia chose not to feed the ball to Peterson, or the damage would have likely been much greater.
Against the Giants, they likely won’t be so lucky. New head coach Joe Judge and second-year quarterback Daniel Jones will lean heavily on Barkley, their uber-talented running back out of Penn State. The. Bears contained Barkley well last year, limiting him to 17 carries for 59 yards. However, last season, he rumbled for 125 yards on 24 carries.
It will be a tough task for the Bears who clearly missed the presence of Eddie Goldman, who has chosen to sit out the season due to concerns over COVID-19. Bilal Nichols and John Jenkins attempted to fill the void and did their best, but they were no substitute for Goldman who is clearly an invaluable and underrated piece of that defensive front.
It is also unlikely they bring in Damon “Snacks” Harrison who many fans have been calling for, but even if they do, it almost certainly won’t be before this Sunday. So the Bears will have to roll with what they have and figure out a way to stop the bleeding with what they have.
They have a legitimate shot of starting the season 2-0, but if they can’t slow down Saquon, that will be a tall order.