LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Not much has gone right for the Chicago Bears in three games.
Their greatest failure has been the lack of an adequate running game.
In a 31-17 loss to the Dallas Cowboys Sunday night, the Bears again only dabbled at running the ball, and for the most part did it poorly when they tried.
"I think it's been hit and miss just like us," coach John Fox said Monday. "Really, in all three phases I think there's been some positives. I don't think we've put a complete game together by any stretch. I think that's evident.
"Whether it's the run game, the run defense, the pass game, the pass defense, obviously none of it's been good enough."
It's especially true of the running game, and the commitment to the run.
Without a running game, the Bears are last in the NFL in possession time. The aim coming into the season was to control the clock and run the ball. Bears running backs have gained 190 yards on 46 attempts. The average of 4.1 yards per carry doesn't look bad, but it's sporadic yardage. In three games the Bears did not rush for as much yardage as Dallas did in its single win Sunday night.
The Bears rank last in the NFC in scoring at 15 points a game.
"We know we're more than capable of putting up points and gaining yards," rookie running back Jordan Howard said. "But it's just small things, not executing and staying on blocks and things like that. It's just execution."
Howard was one of the few rays of hope in the Bears' running game with 45 yards on nine carries. Even that was deceiving, as 36 of the yards came on one outside zone run.
"The line gave a great push," Howard said. "The tight ends and receivers opened up a hole for me and I just hit it. So, they mostly did all the work."
The Bears may be forced to go with Howard starting in his fourth NFL game when they play Detroit at Soldier Field because starter Jeremy Langford left Sunday's game with an ankle injury and backup Ka'Deem Carey remains out with a hamstring injury.
Fox said he may have no other choice due to the injuries.
"I think when you kind of look at our depth chart and you see a guy active, Raheem Mostert, who I don't think is a household name here in Chicago, but our guys will keep coaching them and they'll keep trying and we'll come up with 46 active guys for next Sunday," Fox said.
Mostert just joined the team a week ago.
A makeshift line, assembled just before opening day, hasn't been able to achieve a push on a consistent basis.
"We've got a young bunch," guard Kyle Long said. "We need to learn to play together. We need to play for one another. I think we're getting the grasp of that."
Fox wouldn't spare his coaching staff from criticism when asked about offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains' decision to abandon the run after the Bears fell behind 24-3 at halftime.
"You know, like everybody, it's not good enough," Fox said. "That's no indictment on Dowell or anybody else. I don't think any of us are. All our signatures are on it. It's 0-3."
--Head coach John Fox was in no mood to call Jay Cutler his starting quarterback once his thumb injury has healed.
"I don't think there are any givens," Fox said. "And that's no indictment on anybody. This is a day-to-day, week-to-week, what-have-you-done-for-me-lately league and so we're just trying to get the best 11 guys out there regardless of the position to where we can play a full 60 minutes and get a victory."
Fox said the team would be cautious with Cutler.
"I don't think we want to have setbacks with any player who is injured, including Jay," Fox said.
Fox warned against jumping to conclusions about how long Cutler would be gone.
"I mean, a year ago I think he had a hamstring injury in the Arizona game, I think Game Two here at home," Fox said. "The quote, 'reports' were he'd be out six weeks.
"I believe he missed the Seattle game. Jimmy Clausen started in his place. And then he returned after one week. It's hard to predict. We'll just see and evaluate every him day."
Brian Hoyer went 30 for 49 for 317 yards with two touchdowns for a 93.3 passer rating against Dallas. The Cowboys didn't sack him.
Cutler had a passer rating of 75.7 in his two games, but Hoyer didn't face the type of pass rush against Dallas that Cutler saw from Houston and Philadelphia.
Hoyer wasn't overly thrilled with his performance, but acknowledged he saw a spark in the second half that made for optimism if he gets another chance this week.
"I think the one thing that I'll say is to see the resilience in the room, to come back out down 24-3 at halftime and just keep battling -- it's good to see that we have that perseverance, even in tough times," Hoyer said.
un as well.