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Snap count telling in first loss

Big deficit changed Bears’ rotation

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013 12:07 a.m. CST
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(MCT)
Bears wide receiver Earl Bennett saw more plays on Sunday against the Lions than he had in any other game this season. Part of the reason for that was because the Bears were behind and had to throw more.

When the Lions smacked the Bears with 27 straight points Sunday, the Chicago offense had to go in pass-often mode, as seen in the snap counts.

Earl Bennett played in 49 of 72 snaps (68 percent), the most playing time he has received this season. Matt Forte had season-high participation with 71 of 72 snaps, resulting in 19 total touches.

Forte as a receiving threat, and the team’s need to abandon the run, kept Michael Bush on the sideline. He played only two snaps, one being Forte’s 53-yard touchdown run.

Predominant blockers like Steve Maneri (three snaps), Tony Fiammetta (10 snaps) and Dante Rosario (nine snaps) saw season-low snap counts. The Bears had been extremely productive with the personnel of Forte, Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, Martellus Bennett and Maneri, but we only saw that formation a couple times.

In the second half, the Bears did use Eben Britton for the first time all season as an extra tackle for protection. He played 11 snaps.

Here are other observations from the snap counts in the Bears’ 40-32 loss to the Lions:

• With Joe Anderson inactive, Eric Weems saw three snaps late in the game as an extra wide receiver, but did not receive a target.

• Alshon Jeffery, who was the star on offense, played a season-high 97 percent of the snaps (70/72) after a season-low last week (42/62). He finished with five catches for 107 yards on 11 targets and a 27-yard run.

• On defense, Charles Tillman played 41 of 66 snaps (62 percent), slowed by injuries to his knee and groin. Zack Bowman played the other 25 snaps and did have a pass defensed.

• The Bears were heavily in the nickel to counter the Lions’ spread formations, with Isaiah Frey playing his most snaps (43 out of 66) and D.J. Williams playing his fewest (23). The Lions attacked the Bears’ nickel with the run, as Reggie Bush had a huge day.

• Stephen Paea received lots of attention last week as part of the “next man up” to replace Henry Melton’s ability to get into the opponent’s backfield, but a toe injury kept him to 38 snaps, the fewest out of the defensive linemen.

• Corey Wootton, who has the versatility to play inside and plays the run better than Shea McClellin, led the D-linemen with 57 snaps, which was his season-high in participation. McClellin played 46.

• The biggest surprise on defense was that Landon Cohen, who was signed Friday and didn’t even practice with the team, played 14 snaps, but that might be due to Paea’s injury.

• Cornelious Washington saw his first playing time of the season getting four snaps, though one had him missing a tackle on Bush’s touchdown run.

• Undrafted rookie Michael Ford was active for the first time all season and played 23 special-teams snaps, more than making up for Joe Anderson’s role on special teams. Ford could have made a better play on Micheal Spurlock’s long punt return.

• Rookie cornerback C.J. Wilson, in his first NFL game, played eight special-teams snaps.

• Taylor Boggs and Josh McCown were the only Bears who dressed and did not play.

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