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Analysis Bears Editorials

The Bears Running Game is Relevant Again

In his first professional outing David Montgomery put on a show. 6 Touches for 46 yards proved to be enough for Matt Nagy to decide that he didn’t need to play against the Giants and possibly might not see the field for the rest of the preseason. But that brings up a question as to why the Bears signed Mike Davis. We can clearly see that David Montgomery and Tarik Cohen can lead this team to a well-balanced rushing attack. But recent history suggests you need three fairly active rushers to make the playoffs.

If we look at the playoff teams from last year there is an obvious trend. Of the 18 teams that ran the ball more than 25 times a game, half of them made the playoffs. None of the other playoff teams ran less than twenty-four times a game. Aside from the Eagles, these teams knew how to spread around the ball on the ground. Even on the team with thousand-yard rushers had another contributing factor. Ezekiel Elliott ran for over 1,400 yards and the Cowboys still had another 300-yard rusher. Chris Carson ran 1100 yards for Seattle and the Seahawks had three more 300-yard rushers. But not everybody has Bell cow running backs. The Texans had two players with over 500 yards rushing and Alfred Blue had 499 yards on top of that. The Bears had three players with over 400 yards rushing. Baltimore had to rushers with 650 plus yards and two other rushers with 300-plus yards.

Todd Gurley, Ezekiel Elliott, and Chris Carson are the only players over 1000 yards rushing to reach the postseason out of the nine players who did break the thousand-yard barrier. The Bell cow running back doesn’t seem to work as well as it used to. Teams need a committee. That’s why the Patriots a team that won the Super Bowl had an 800-yard rusher a 400-yard rusher and a 200-yard rusher. It kept Sony Michel fresh enough for a postseason run. And I believe the Bears are going to follow that formula.

The Bears have valued Tarik Cohen for what he can do. They utilize him to that fullest extent but it is definitely in their best interest to get him 17 or 18 touches per game, not 17 or 18 rushes per game. They’ve got somebody who can run between the tackles and they got somebody who’s an all-around rushing threat in Mike Davis and David Montgomery respectively. With David Montgomery being the main rusher it’s easy to see him getting 800 yards in a season with Tarik Cohen getting 400-500 yards and Mike Davis getting 300 yards. Obviously, these are just rushing numbers as I expected Tarik Cohen and David Montgomery to be important in the passing game.

In the playoffs, Jordan Howard struggled. On 10 attempts for 35 yards he just didn’t make an impact. This wasn’t just an isolated incident to the bears. The Rams had to rely on CJ Anderson for most of the playoffs. Chris Carson and Ezekiel Elliott both average less than 2.5 yards per carrying in the games they were eliminated in. However, with both David Montgomery and Mike Davis able to run between the tackles there can be less wear and tear on players come playoff time.

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