CHICAGO- The Chicago Bears moved to 2-0 in the 2014 preseason with a 20-19 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars at Solider Field on Thursday night, but they completely owe this victory to their ground game. Now as a team they only rushed for 79 yards, compared to last week’s 92 yards against the Philadelphia Eagles, but their last two possessions of the game were the deciding factor.
When the Bears took possession with 13:30 remaining in the fourth quarter, they were trailing 19-7. 11 plays later, rookie running back Ka’Deem Carey scored on a one-yard touchdown run to make the score 19-14 with 7:55 remaining. Carey’s run capped off a 10 play, 57 yard drive in which the fourth round draft pick ran the ball seven times for 22 yards.
Two possessions later, Jordan Palmer engineered a two minute drill (there was 2:52 left on the clock) and took the Bears 79 yards down to the Jacksonville five yard line. From there undrafted rookie Senorise Perry would run it in to give the Bears a 20-19 lead. The Bears defense would then force a turnover to end the game.
For the second straight week, Carey (13 carries, 36 yards, one touchdown against Jacksonville) has led the Bears in rushing. He now leads the team in that category during the preseason as he now has 20 carries for 59 yards. He is definitely emerging as the front runner to be the No. 2 guy behind Matt Forte. Perry in just two games has gained 30 yards on nine carries.
Unfortunately for Perry, he hasn’t done enough to solidify a roster spot yet. At this point he finds himself competing directly with Shaun Draughn (four total carries for 35 yards) for the third spot on the depth chart. Michael Ford (aside from returning one kick for 19 yards) and Jordan Lynch didn’t play on Thursday.
Ford hasn’t exactly been at peak performance this summer. He’s struggled at times during training camp, and has only 64 all-purpose yards after two exhibition games. Unless he improves significantly over these next two weeks, he could be on his way out of Halas Hall. As for Lynch -a converted quarterback-, he’ll more than likely wind up on the practice squad so he can develop the skills necessary to play running back at the pro level.
Forte has been silent thus far (nine rushes, minus-7 yards), but with the all-important third preseason game on the horizon, expect that to change. The Bears will get back to practice at Halas Hall before heading to the Pacific Northwest to play the defending Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks next Friday.
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