Bears only have themselves to blame for Bush's big day
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Lions running back Reggie Bush rushed for 103 yards on 9 carries in the first half of Sunday's 40-32 victory over the Bear. Detroit lead 30-13 at halftime.
There was talk that the Detroit Lions were able to predict a specific stunt by Bears linemen Sunday and exploit it with run plays by Reggie Bush because of intel received from defensive tackle Israel Idonije, who had played the previous nine seasons for the Bears.
Don't buy it.
"I don't think there was any evidence of that at all on the tape," Bears coach Marc Trestman said.
There was evidence of more missed tackles than in any game this season, especially by safeties Chris Conte and Major Wright, who each had blatant whiffs on Bush.
And there was evidence of bad fits in the run game: players not being in the right gap. And, sure, Bush should get some credit for making tacklers miss, which he does almost as well as he scampers out of bounds to avoid a hit.
But, given the familiarity of the NFC North foes, Bears linebacker Lance Briggs doesn't believe his former teammate and still buddy could provide much more info than what the Lions already know about the Bears.
"What information could Izzy give them?" Briggs asked. "We play the Detroit Lions twice a year for as long as I've known. They have all the information they need. We're not a complicated defense."
In addition, Mel Tucker is in his first season as Bears defensive coordinator and, even though the scheme hasn't changed much, Tucker doesn't show the exact same tendencies as Lovie Smith and Rod Marinelli did.
The Lions also haven't had a runner as talented as Bush in years.
His production on first-and-10 plays in the first half was impressive: 103 yards on 9 carries for an 11.4-yard average, including a 37-yard TD that put the Lions on top 30-10.
Matthew Stafford threw on the Lions' 11 other first-and-10 plays in the first half, completing 6 of 11 for 51 yards.
But Bush's production wasn't the result of leaked secrets. It was poor tackling and lack of discipline that overshadowed 3 more take-aways by the Bears' defense.
"We have to be disciplined, and we have to be fundamentally sound," Briggs said. "Guys have got to get in their gaps and do their job."
On Bush's second carry of the game, Conte missed him at the line of scrimmage and then regrouped to eventually bring him down, but that was 17 yards downfield.
"I don't know if I can tell you what accounted for it," Trestman said of the missed fits in the run game. "Chris made a good fit; he just missed a tackle. A couple times where we had two players in one gap and left one gap open. It was a combination of (bad) fits and tackling."
Trestman attributed some of his team's tackling problems to Bush's elusiveness.
"I don't know that there was a tackling issue," the Bears' coach said. "There was a tough guy to tackle, you know?
"We didn't expect to be the best tackling team at the end of Week 4, but we've got to get better as we move along, and we're going to go do that."
Four turnovers by the Bears' offense made an already difficult job tougher for the defense. But, as Briggs pointed out, the defense has yet to play up to its potential despite forcing 14 turnovers.
"It's kind of disgusting to see 40 points up on the scoreboard regardless of what went on and how it went up there," Briggs said, noting that every Bears opponent has scored more than 20 points this season.
"And that's not like us. It doesn't matter what happens. It's our job to either get off the field or turn the ball over to create another opportunity for our offense.
"That's just disappointing."
And not very encouraging, considering Sunday's opponent is Sean Payton's explosive New Orleans Saints, who were No. 4 in passing yards and No. 6 in total yards heading into their Monday night game.
•Follow Bob's NFL reports on Twitter @BobLeGere, and check out his Bear Essentials blog at dailyherald.com/sports.
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