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How has Bears run defense fared?

Posted Oct 5, 2012

Larry discusses how the Bears run defense has performed this season and against Maurice Jones-Drew, third-down success on offense and karma for the Packers.

Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of email questions from fans on ChicagoBears.com.

Coming into this weekend's game against the run-happy Jaguars, how have the Bears done against the run this year and against Maurice Jones-Drew in the past?

Andy
Ballingry, Scotland

The Bears defense ranks third in the NFL against the run, allowing an average of 67.3 yards per game. Only the Dolphins (56.8) and Seahawks (62.8) are better. In their four games this season, the Bears run defense has permitted 63, 106, 59 and 41 yards. In their last two games, they held the Rams' Steven Jackson to 29 yards on 11 carries and the Cowboys' DeMarco Murray to 24 yards on 11 attempts. Maurice Jones-Drew, who led the NFL in rushing with 1,606 yards last season, has played only one career game against the Bears. In 2008, he rushed for 55 yards on 12 carries and caught seven passes for 47 yards and one touchdown in a 23-10 loss at Soldier Field.

Watching the Bears convert time and again on third down Monday night in Dallas seemed to be something new. How have the Bears done on third down compared to the last few years?

Edward B.

The Bears have converted 37.7 percent of their third-down plays (20 of 53) so far this season. That success rate would be the best since Lovie Smith became head coach in 2004. Here are the Bears' third-down percentages from 2004-11: 25.1, 28.8, 36.8, 34.0, 35.6, 37.3, 32.8 and 32.5. In Monday night's win over the Cowboys, the Bears were 7 of 12 on third down including 6 of 8 when needing eight or fewer yards.

In regards to the Packers/Seahawks fiasco, do you think that maybe just maybe that after 23 years, karma finally caught up with Green Bay for the infamous "instant replay" game in 1989? I find the two games to be eerily similar, and justice has finally been served.

Mike J.
Davenport, Iowa

I'm not sure whether it was karma, but after watching the replay of the Seahawks' controversial touchdown to beat the Packers on Monday Night Football, I'm pretty certain I saw a faint image of Dan Majkowski stepping over the line of scrimmage before throwing the ball!

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