Forte finally gets Bears' run game going

As depressing as Sunday's 38-17 loss to the Packers might be, the Bears can take solace in a running game that finally took off after a slow start.

The Bears, who came in with the fewest rushing yards in the NFL, ran for 235 yards, the most they've had in a game since Sept, 25, 1988, also against Green Bay.

"That's how we should run the ball," said Matt Forte, who picked up 122 yards on 23 carries for a 5.3-yard average. "The past two weeks have been rough."

In his previous two games, Forte was limited to 54 yards on 25 carries, a 2.2-yard average. That led to some concern, but the offense was committed to establishing the ground game.

The Bears rushed 41 times Sunday after just 56 run plays in the first three games combined. Rookie Ka'Deem Carey, who came in with 2 carries for 4 yards, picked up 72 yards on 14 attempts (5.1-yard average) against Green Bay, quarterback Jay Cutler scrambled three times for 29 yards and wide receiver Alshon Jeffery added 12 yards on an end-around.

"Huge, huge, huge," Cutler said of the rushing production. "It opens up some stuff for us in the passing game. We have to keep that going on throughout the season."

Including the 49 yards he picked up on 5 receptions, Forte had 171 yards from scrimmage, surpassing 10,000 for his career. Forte's 10,037 yards have come on 6,924 rushing and 3,113 receiving.

The only other Bear to top 10,000 is Hall of Famer Walter Payton (21,264).

Picked apart:

Jay Cutler's halftime passer rating of 127.7 quickly descended to 82.5 by game's end thanks to a pair of second-half interceptions, his first since the season opener.

The first pick was a carom-shot that ricocheted 15 yards back toward the line of scrimmage. The second came when Brandon Marshall ran a "go" route rather than the prescribed 18-yard hook.

"I'm not really going to get into a lot of that," Cutler said. "There's a few things that we have that we can change up some routes. But we didn't have anything on there.

"It's unfortunate. We had a great call there. We probably pick up 15, 20 yards there and keep it moving. Wish we could have that one back for sure."

While Sam Shields returned the second pick 62 yards to the Bears' 11 to set up the game's final score, Marshall walked off the field.

The lighter side:

The blocked field goal by defensive end Willie Young, who started in place of Jared Allen, was the only possession on which Green Bay did not score.

It wasn't Young first blocked kick. "I had one in middle school," he said. "That counts."

Young was asked what he thought about the Bears' unsuccessful onside kick after they went ahead 17-14 with 3:50 left in the first half. "I didn't even see it," he said. "I was over there (on the sideline) sucking wind."

By the numbers:

Neither the Bears nor the Packers punted Sunday. The only other game in NFL history without a punt was the Buffalo Bills vs. the San Francisco 49ers on Sept. 13, 1992. … Jared Allen's streak of 113 consecutive starts ended Sunday when he was inactive due to illness. Allen had not missed a game because of injury/illness since Week 4 of his rookie season in 2004, a streak of 159 games. He was suspended for the first two games of the 2007 season. … Brandon Marshall has just 16 catches for 144 yards (9.0-yard average), but 5 of his catches have been for touchdowns.

Sitting it out:

Safety Ahmad Dixon suffered a hamstring injury in the first half and did not return.

In addition to Jared Allen, Sunday's other inactives were center Roberto Garza (ankle), guard Matt Slauson (ankle), defensive tackle Jeremiah Ratliff (concussion), linebacker Shea McClellin (broken hand), cornerback Sherrick McManis (quad) and offensive tackle Charles Leno.

Change up plan:

The Bears game against the Falcons in Atlanta on Oct. 12 has been flexed from a noon start to a 3:25 kickoff.

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