The Chicago Bears have undergone some changes in their backfield this offseason. Last year, they began with Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen in their backfield.
Coming into 2019, the Bears will now have David Montgomery and Cohen will head the backfield. Montgomery was drafted in the third round of this year’s draft out of Iowa State.
Although, Howard was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles. Thus, giving Montgomery a shot at becoming the main focal point in the Bears rushing attack.
For the Bears, they want to get the most out of Mitchell Trubisky in his third season in the NFL. Having a high-powered rushing attack will ease some of the pressure off of the third-year quarterback.
Nevertheless, there are decently high expectations for Montgomery in his rookie season with Chicago. Here are three numbers to target for David Montgomery with the Bears in 2019.
3. 200 Carries
It’s safe to assume the Bears will insert Montgomery into the same role in the offense as Howard has last season. Although, Nagy is expecting more from Montgomery in Chicago’s offense this season.
Last season, Howard was given 250 carries in the offense and was the workhorse back in the rushing attack. On the other hand, Tarik Cohen was vastly used as the receiving threat out of the backfield.
Therefore, a majority of the carries that were given to Howard in 2018 will likely be handed to Montgomery in his rookie season. In 2018, Chicago ranked 11th in rushing offense—right behind the Dallas Cowboys.
In the end, Montgomery could be given at least 200 carries in his rookie campaign. The Bears rushing offense will look a bit different with Montgomery alongside Trubisky.
2. 900 Rushing Yards
In college, Montgomery was a very talented running back with Iowa State. Throughout his collegiate career, Montgomery had 2,362 yards on the ground with two-straight seasons over 1,000-yards.
Now, the Bears are hoping to get similar production from Montgomery in his rookie campaign this year. Cohen could see more touches in the running game so the rookie running back may not exceed over 1,000-yards.
For now, it would be wise to expect Montgomery to rush for at least 900 yards. Especially if Montgomery is given 200 carries and has at least 4.5 yards per carry (had a 4.7 yards per carry average in college). That would put Montgomery over 900 rushing yards in Nagy’s offense.
1. 10 Touchdowns
Another aspect of Montgomery’s collegiate career was that he was able to score touchdowns at a high-clip at Iowa State. In his last two seasons in college, Montgomery scored 24 touchdowns for the Cyclones.
In Nagy’s first season as head coach, the Bears offense took a leap forward in just about every category. For instance, in 2017, the Bears ranked 32nd in the NFL in passing offense and 16th in rushing offense. Even in scoring, the Bears went from the 29th scoring offense to the ninth-scoring offense.
Then, with Nagy in 2018, Chicago was 21st in passing and 11th in rushing. This season, the Bears could easily improve across the board on offense.
Last season, Howard had nine touchdowns in the Chicago offense. It’s safe to assume Montgomery will be given opportunities to get into the end zone. Montgomery better start thinking of touchdown celebrations to do in 2019.