Bears won’t change goals against tough Texans defense
BY ADAM L. JAHNS firstname.lastname@example.org November 9, 2012 9:24PM
Matt Forte will face a Texans defense that hasn’t allowed a touchdown run. | Joe Howell~AP
Updated: December 11, 2012 6:15AM
Becoming the first team to rush for a touchdown against the Houston Texans this season isn’t exactly a goal for the Bears on Sunday. To them, it will happen through execution.
Running back Matt Forte and the offensive line have their own streak going. Forte has scored in back-to-back games. The Bears rank 11th in the NFL with an average of 128.5 rushing yards per game.
“They’re good,” Forte said of the Texans’ defense. “They have a good scheme, and they have good players. There’s no lack of talent at any position. That’s what makes it tough.”
Offensive coordinator Mike Tice described the Texans’ 3-4 scheme as “very forceful” with plenty of “surging across the line of the scrimmage.” The Texans rank second in the league in run defense, allowing 81.9 yards per game.
“They don’t play soft,” Tice said. “They play penetrating defense.”
The Bears will lean on their running game if quarterback Jay Cutler sees unfavorable coverage and if the weather takes an unfriendly turn, as expected.
“I don’t see our goal as strictly for them,” left guard Chilo Rachal said when asked about the Texans’ success against the run. “I say our goal every week is to go out and execute.”
Although he was limited and is doubtful for Sunday, rookie wide receiver Alshon Jeffery returned to practice Friday.
Jeffery, who declined to speak to the media, fractured his right hand against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Oct. 7.
Coach Lovie Smith said Jeffery was able to do “a little bit” at practice.
“We’re excited about the progress he’s made, [but] he’s doubtful,” Smith said. “I can’t really say much more than that. But we put him as doubtful instead of out [on the injury report].”
In and out
Defensive tackle Matt Toeaina (calf) is doubtful for Sunday. Defensive end Israel Idonije (ankle) and defensive tackle Henry Melton (back) are probable after participating fully in practice.
For the Texans, starting nose tackle Shaun Cody (ribs) is out. Tight end Owen Daniels, a Naperville Central product, is questionable. He was limited in practice because of a back injury after sitting out Wednesday and Thursday.
Backup running back Ben Tate also is out with a hamstring injury.