Bears defense tries to stop bleeding with Lions on deck

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Brian Urlacher usually gets irritated when certain statistics are brought to his attention. If the points allowed aren't much, then the yards given up don't matter to Urlacher and the rest of the Bears defense.

Now the Bears have both problems.

They rank 31st in the league in total defense, giving up an average of 425.8 yards heading into Monday night's game at Detroit -- the worst four-game stretch of Lovie Smith's eight seasons as Chicago coach. And they are giving up nearly 29 points per game over the last three, losing two of them.

"The yards have been there, a lot and points as well -- given up a lot of points and yards, which isn't a good thing," Urlacher said Friday. "Luckily, we've managed to win two of those games, but I don't know what it is. We're not making big plays, we're giving up too many long runs, too many long passes. We're giving up big plays and not making any ourselves."

Slipping from second overall last season to 23rd against the run (124.2 yards per game) this season accounts for some of the 1,703 yards the Bears have allowed. Each of the Bears' opponents has rushed for 100 yards or more.

"It's a complete 180," safety Chris Harris said.

There seems to be no easy answer to the struggles.

"I think we need to hustle more and get off blocks," nose tackle Anthony Adams said. "And usually if somebody makes a mistake, there's somebody hustling to correct that mistake, and that hasn't been the case here lately. I think guys are playing too much uptight; just have to let it loose."

It hasn't been any better against the pass, where they rank 29th. Only four teams have given up more completions of 20 yards or longer than the Bears (17), and Urlacher, not the secondary, has two of the team's three interceptions.

Not having Harris the last three games due to a pulled hamstring has hurt. Harris' status on Monday night will be in question until right before the game, but he said Friday that he plans to play.

Players are trying to downplay anyone's absence.

"I can't blame Chris Harris for the plays that I messed up," linebacker Lance Briggs said. "I'm very well capable, just as the rest of the 11 guys on the field are, to go out there and play good football. And so there are no excuses."

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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