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David Montgomery, Bears

NFL

Grading the 2019 NFL season for Bears rookie RB David Montgomery

Although the Chicago Bears fell vastly short of expectations in the 2019 NFL season, they can at least take solace in the fact that running back David Montgomery looks the part of a future workhorse.

The Bears were dealing with some turnover in the offseason after parting ways with running back Jordan Howard. As a result, they made quite the investment when they opted to trade up to acquire him in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft.

Despite all the talk about a looming resurgence on offense, they struggled mightily to find its footing for the bulk of the year behind quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. Trubisky’s woes clearly had a major impact on this group as a whole and it did not exactly serve as an ideal environment for any rookie to develop in.

Due to a lack of a consistent passing game, Montgomery did not have very much room to work with on moist of his runs. The tempo of games and Chicago falling behind early more often than not usually resulted in them abandoning the run in order to play catch-up through the air.

Regardless, Montgomery still managed to establish himself as one of the lone bright spots of the 2019 campaign for the Bears by rushing for 889 yards and six touchdowns on 242 carries. While his 3.7 yards per carry is not exactly an efficient mark, it is impressive considering he broke the eighth-most tackles among running backs with 47.

It should also be noted that the presence of running back Tarik Cohen also put another cap on Montgomery’s production. Cohen’s prowess as a receiver out of the backfield made him the go-to option for head coach Matt Nagy on passing downs and that likely will not change any time soon.

Perhaps one of the silver linings of the Bears missing the playoffs is that they will have more time to look back at what made them successful during the regular season. One of the recurring factors in most of their wins was the fact that they were able to put a strong emphasis on getting the ground game going.

The Bears were 6-1 in games where Montgomery ran the ball at least 15 times and the lone loss came against the Los Angeles Chargers when he rushed for a season-high 135 yards on 27 carries. He was able to overcome a number of factors to show that he is a bonafide workhorse back and for this he deserves a solid B rating.