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Bears’ defense getting run over

GROUND and POUND

Several running backs have performed much better against the Bears than in the rest of their games:

Eddie Lacy, Packers

Att-Yds Avg. TD
vs. Bears 22-150 6.8 1
vs. NFL 150-546 3.6 4

REGGIE BUSH, LIONS

vs. Bears 32-244 7.6 1
vs. NFL 113-410 3.6 1

RAY RICE, RAVENS

vs. Bears 25-131 5.2 1
vs. NFL 115-289 2.5 3

BRANDON JACOBS, GIANTS

vs. Bears 22-106 4.8 2
vs. NFL 27-57 2.1 2

ADRIAN PETERSON, VIKINGS

vs. Bears 26-100 3.9 0
vs. NFL 168-751 4.5 9

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Updated: November 19, 2013 11:56PM



Updates on newcomer Jeremiah Ratliff’s condition are becoming more and more prominent at Halas Hall — and for good reason. The Bears might need the four-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle more than they do Jay Cutler the way their run defense is getting shredded.

After allowing 174 rushing yards Sunday against Ray Rice and the Ravens, the Bears dropped to 31st in the NFL in rushing defense (127.5 yards per game). They were ninth after three weeks (88.7 yards per game) when defensive tackle Henry Melton suffered a season-ending knee injury.

Rice, who entered the game averaging 2.5 yards per carry, gained 131 yards on 25 carries (5.2 yards per carry) against the Bears. He was the sixth player to rush for 100 or more yards against the Bears. No other NFL team has allowed more than four 100-yard rushers.

With a 47-yard run on his first carry of the game, Rice became the fifth player to have his seasonlong run against the Bears. The others are the Packers’ Eddie Lacy (56 yards) and James Starks (32), the Lions’ Reggie Bush (39) and the Giants’ Brandon Jacobs (16).

And it’s not like they’re tearing it up against the rest of the league. On Sunday, Lacy (14 carries, 27 yards), Starks (two carries, minus-1 yard), Bush (12 carries, 31 yards) and Jacobs (dive carries, nine yards) combined for 66 yards on 33 carries.

On Sunday, the Bears will face Rams rookie Zac Stacy, who has rushed for 537 yards on 129 carries (4.2 yards per carry). Stacy ran for 134 yards against the Seahawks and for 127 against the Titans in back-to-back games but was held to 62 yards on 26 carries in a 38-8 victory Nov. 10 against the Colts. Stacy’s long run this season is 32 yards against the Titans.

Here’s how the 100-yard rushers against the Bears have fared against the rest of the NFL. All but Peterson had their 100-yard day against the Bears after Melton’s injury:

GROUND and POUND

Several running backs have performed much better against the Bears than in the rest of their games:

Eddie Lacy, Packers

Att-Yds Avg. TD
vs. Bears 22-150 6.8 1
vs. NFL 150-546 3.6 4

REGGIE BUSH, LIONS

vs. Bears 32-244 7.6 1
vs. NFL 113-410 3.6 1

RAY RICE, RAVENS

vs. Bears 25-131 5.2 1
vs. NFL 115-289 2.5 3

BRANDON JACOBS, GIANTS

vs. Bears 22-106 4.8 2
vs. NFL 27-57 2.1 2

ADRIAN PETERSON, VIKINGS

vs. Bears 26-100 3.9 0
vs. NFL 168-751 4.5 9

Bass strikes blow for ‘D’ rookies

When the Bears went back to their locker room during the weather delay Sunday against the Ravens, there was a lot of coaching, talking and strategizing going on. Rookie defensive end David Bass did what he’s supposed to.

‘‘I listened,’’ Bass said. ‘‘As a rookie, I wasn’t putting in too much of my opinion, telling people what to do. . . . I paid attention to what Coach was saying. I watched what he drew up on the board.

‘‘I listened to the vets. They told me what to do, what they think is going on. I just took everything in and relaxed and put my feet up to make sure I was energized when I went back out there.’’

That’s a good strategy in general for a rookie, but it paid off particularly well for Bass. His interception and 24-yard return for a touchdown helped turn the momentum in the Bears’ favor in an eventual 23-20 overtime victory.

Bass played a season-high 51 snaps and had four tackles. Cheta Ozougwu’s sack and Jon Bostic’s interception provided hope that the Bears’ young players are making progress, a bigger and bigger key to a playoff run with so many veterans injured.

Coach Marc Trestman also mentioned rookie linebacker Khaseem Greene and second-year nickel back Isaiah Frey among young players who have impressed.

‘‘I thought Jonathan had his best game in terms of physicality, running from sideline to sideline,’’ Trestman said. ‘‘Khaseem continues to get better and more comfortable. And I’ve always been very comfortable with Isaiah. People forget that we lost Kelvin [Hayden] in training camp, and he was a significant part of our defense. Isaiah has a very mature quality about him. He’s a solid guy [with] assignments, and that’s really helped my confidence in the back end [of the defense].’’

Winning division Bears’ best bet

Playoffs?

With the Packers still waiting for Aaron Rodgers to return and the Lions still finding ways to lose, the Bears’ best route to the postseason is probably the NFC North title.

With six weeks to go, the revitalized Panthers (7-3 with six consecutive victories), Eagles (6-5 with three victories in a row) and Cardinals (6-4 with three consecutive victories) have made the wild-card spots a little more problematic. The Bears (6-4) are tied with the Lions atop the NFC North but would lose a tiebreaker because the Lions swept their season series. The Bears’ 3-4 record in the NFC might be a problem, too.

The Bears’ remaining schedule: at Rams (4-6) on Sunday; at Vikings (2-8) on Dec. 1; vs. Cowboys (5-5) on Dec. 9; at Browns (4-6) on Dec. 15; at Eagles (6-5) on Dec. 22; vs. Packers (5-5) on Dec. 29.

EMAIL: mpotash@suntimes.com

TWITTER: @markpotash



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