Regardless of what transpires early on, offensive coordinator Mike Tice can't stray from the team's commitment to running the ball. That's what transpired during the Chicago Bears' 23-10 loss in prime time to the Green Bay Packers on Sept. 13.
Despite the Bears averaging 4.4 yards per attempt, they ran the ball just nine times in the first half before attempting to make up for the mistake in the second half with 14 more runs. By then, the damage had already been done as the Packers reeled off a 13-0 lead that forced the Bears into a passing game.
Tice can't afford to let a similar situation unfold against the Lions.
"I think there was a guy that was calling plays in Green Bay that didn't call the run enough," Tice joked. "I think that was a part of the problem. Hopefully he's not showing up this week."
For Chicago's sake, he can't. Tice knows the likelihood of hitting big runs isn't high against Detroit's 3-4 defensive front. He's also aware that explosive bursts aren't as important as displaying a real commitment to running the football.
"I do know it's hard to run the ball against some of the solid looks, the two three-techniques and under defenses. The two-gap teams, they're not gonna give you the explosive runs," Tice said. "This will be one heck of a challenge against this front. They give us problems. We have to be able to run the ball and mix it up."