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Choosing Sides

Choosing Sides: How many yards will Bears rush for?

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Prior to every Bears game this season, we ask a panel of experts one question to test their clairvoyant powers. The panel consists of ChicagoBears.com writers Larry Mayer and Nathan Smith; former Bears players Alex Brown, Patrick Mannelly and Jim Miller; and one guest celebrity.

This week's question is: How many yards will the Bears rush for as a team Sunday against the Texans? The running game has improved in recent weeks, generating 122 yards on 16 carries against the Packers and 140 yards on 31 attempts versus the Lions. The 140 yards were the most by the Bears since they rushed for 149 yards in a Week 1 win in Detroit.

Our guest celebrity this week is former offensive lineman Roberto Garza, who appeared in 154 games with 145 starts at right guard and center over 10 seasons with the Bears from 2005-14.

Larry Mayer, ChicagoBears.com
Prediction: The Bears will rush for 120 yards against the Texans.
Comment: Fueled by a reconfigured offensive line and a re-energized David Montgomery, the Bears' running game has been much more productive in two games since the bye. I expect that to continue Sunday, with the line once again opening holes for Montgomery and the dangerous Cordarrelle Patterson.

Nathan Smith, ChicagoBears.com
Prediction: The Bears will rush for 160 yards against the Texans.
Comment: The Bears will continue to commit to the run. With the current line setup, the situation should lend itself to big days by Montgomery and Patterson.

Alex Brown, former Bears defensive end
Prediction: The Bears will rush for 115 yards against the Texans.
Comment: Houston is one of the worst teams in the league at stopping the run, and David Montgomery is the total package and can handle a 20-25 carry workload.

Patrick Mannelly, former Bears long-snapper
Prediction: The Bears will rush for 150 yards against the Texans.
Comment: I really liked what I saw from the running game last week against the Lions. David Montgomery and Cordarrelle Patterson ran it well. The Texans are giving up 4.9 yards per carry. So I expect more this week from the run game.

Jim Miller, former Bears quarterback
Prediction: The Bears will rush for 130 yards against the Texans.
Comment: If the Bears are committed to running the football, I would expect 27 rushing attempts for a total of 130 rushing yards. Houston has been better at stopping the run. In Houston's last two matchups, both the Lions and Colts totaled 109 yards rushing. The Bears have an edge on the friendly Soldier Field grass and are coming off 140 yards rushing versus the Lions.

Guest celebrity: Roberto Garza
Prediction: The Bears will rush for 111 yards against the Texans.
Comment: The Texans defense has struggled to stop the run, giving up 4.9 yards per carry. Their interior defensive line has had issues all year.

Recap of last week: Allen Robinson II recorded 75 yards on six catches in last Sunday's loss to the Lions. ChicagoBears.com writer Larry Mayer came the closest among our panel members by predicting 78 yards. Robinson has now led the Bears in receiving yards in each of the past 10 games.

Your turn: We want to know what you think, so please register your vote below:

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