Run-heavy Bears lean on rookie David Montgomery
DENVER — David Montgomery isn’t the type to reach the ball over the goal line — it’s usually not worth the fumble risk. But the Bears had run five-straight plays inside the Broncos’ 5-yard line Sunday — four runs and one incompletion that resulted in a defensive flag. He was desperate.
It was third-and-goal from the 1-yard-line with about one minute left in the third quarter. The rookie took the handoff from quarterback Mitch Trubisky, out of the shotgun, and jumped over the pile. He stretched the ball, and it barely reached the goal line.
“We just had ran it a couple times before and I didn’t have any success,” Montgomery said after the Bears’ wild 16-14 win. “I was kinda getting a little antsy for the end zone. Normally I won’t reach the ball out, but I reached it out in that situation.”
It worked. It remains the Bears’ only touchdown of the season.
”I’m proud of our offensive line and our running backs and our tight ends,” coach Matt Nagy said. “Running the ball there, that was a mindset deal.”
One week after Nagy had his offense hand the ball off only 15 times, the Bears ran 29 times for 153 yards. After having six carries in the opener, Montgomery had 18 against the Broncos for 62 yards.
Tarik Cohen ran four times for 18 yards, while fellow running back Mike Davis had three for only one yard. Receiver Cordarrelle Patterson had two rushes for 50 yards, with a 46-yard gain marking the Bears’ longest play of the season.
“I think the run game started to pick up,” said Montgomery, who prepared himself for the 90-degree heat and altitude by drinking grape Pedialyte on Saturday night. “We just had to keep going to it like we were doing.”
Nagy said the Bears needed to give their defense a “breather” — and that a solid run game accomplished just that.
“I know the receivers didn’t like it,” Cohen joked. “But the backfield we have, it takes a lot of pressure off of Mitch, for him to not go out there and try to make all perfect passes, which is something hard to do.
“If we can take the pressure off him, win first downs and get the O-line in the groove, which is very big for them, I feel like the run game helps a lot.”
Montgomery led the way.
“Not one person is going to tackle him,” Cohen said. “He runs hard. He runs like a vet.”