With Jay Cutler out and the I-can’t-believe-dude-is-this-bad Todd Collins in, Mike Martz knew he had to change his offensive philosophy for Sunday’s game against the Panthers.
So for the first time ever in his career, Martz ran the football. And he ran the football. And he ran, and ran, and continued to run until the Bears managed to scoop up a dominating 23-6 win. And thanks to Martz’s dedication to the run game, Matt Forte had an opportunity to be the hero and that’s exactly what he was.
Forte rushed 22 times for a career-high 166 yards and two touchdowns, which included a score on the first drive of the game on an 18-yard scamper. He also added a 68-yard score later in the first quarter to give Chicago a 14-3 lead.
It was rather impressive that the Panthers knew the Bears had to run to win and they still couldn’t stop Forte. Collins was just as bad as everyone feared (he completed only 6-of-16 passes and threw four interceptions), but it didn’t matter because Chicago grabbed an early lead and never looked back. Collins kept Carolina in the game, but thanks to Forte and Jimmy Clausen, the Bears never trailed.
At 4-1, the Bears now have sole possession of the NFC North.