Bears' rushing attack will face tough test vs. Jets
The Bears' Monday night opponent, the New York Jets, are No. 1 in the league in rushing yards allowed after two weeks.
That's bad news for the Bears' sluggish ground game, which was held to 46 yards last week against the 49ers and is averaging just 66 yards per game, 30th in the league.
"It won't be easy," coach Marc Trestman said. "What we try to do is move the football and score touchdowns. That's what we're trying to do, and we're not opinionated in how we get that done."
Against the run, the Jets' 3-4 alignment is anchored by 315-pound Muhammad Wilkerson, 294-pound Sheldon Richardson and 350-pound nose tackle Damon "Snacks" Harrison. The Bears might be better off avoiding direct confrontation with what has traditionally been a stingy run defense. Last year the Jets were No. 1 in average gain per rush allowed (3.35 yards) and No. 3 in rushing yards allowed.
"The fact of the matter is this is historically -- and I think will be (again) -- one of the better run defenses in the league that we're going to face," Trestman said. "We faced a great one last week, and we're up against a very, very difficult front of highly talented players plus scheme so it makes for a heck of a challenge and we've got a lot of work to do."
Santonio Holmes came to the Bears with a reputation as a divisive lockerroom force from his days with the New York Jets, but that's not the way Jets coach Rex Ryan remembers Holmes' four years (2010-13) there.
"He was outstanding," Ryan said. "I really enjoyed him. When this guy's healthy, he can be a game-changer. The first year that we had him, he was a major, major factor in us winning like four games.
"My second season here (2010) he helped lead us to a championship game. Unfortunately he had that Lisfranc injury (in 2012). But he was having as good of a season for a three-game period as he had in his entire career. And then last year wasn't as good coming off of that injury. But he looks pretty healthy. he looks like he's doing well."
Holmes, who was signed on Aug. 16, has 4 catches for 41 yards with the Bears.
Six players, including five starters, did not practice Thursday: defensive ends Jared Allen (back) and Trevor Scott (foot), center Roberto Garza (ankle), guard Matt Slauson (ankle), wide receiver Brandon Marshall (ankle), defensive tackle Jeremiah Ratliff (concussion) and cornerback Sherrick McManis (quad).
Safety Chris Conte (shoulder), wide receiver Alshon Jeffery (hamstring) and linebacker Shea McClellin (hand) were limited. Wide receiver Josh Morgan (groin) was back and went through the full practice.
By the numbers:
The offense put up 28 points despite managing just 216 total yards against the San Francisco 49ers Sunday night. The last time last time the Bears had as many points with so few yards, was on Oct. 6, 2005, against the Vikings in a 28-3 victory in which the offense had 195 total yards.
Cornerback Demontre Hurst was re-signed Thursday.
The 5-foot-10, 183-pound Hurst made his NFL debut in Week 1, making 2 special teams tackles against the Buffalo Bills. He spent his 2013 rookie season on the Bears' practice squad after being signed as an undrafted free agent out of Oklahoma.