Running Game Establishing Offensive Tone
It appears a Loggains’ offense needs a run game to give it balance, and RB Jordan Howard might be the perfect fit.
In Howard’s first start as an NFL running back, he led the Bears to their first 100+ yard rushing game of the season. He showed good footwork, vision, and had the patience to allow the zone-blocking scheme to develop holes for him.
Howard had an impressive 4.8 yards/carry and 111 total rushing yards. Perhaps most impressive, though, was his 68 yards after first contact.
Though this is his NFL first start, Howard’s yards after contact likely isn’t a one-hit-wonder. Howard plays with a low pad level, allowing him to gain leverage at the point of contact. After getting wrapped up, he has the ability to keep moving his feet, enabling him to fall forward. And he’s not afraid of taking or delivering big hits.
That is exactly what the Bears need in a running back—a bruiser that can get yards after contact.
Play Action Play Calls
With Howard establishing a running attack, Loggains was able to leverage play-action passes in his zone-blocking scheme. In these formations, QB Brian Hoyer fakes a handoff while the offensive line shifts, thereby forcing the defense to shift. With the defense in motion, Hoyer moves in the opposite direction and looks for holes in the defense while the field is in motion.
Leveraging play actions in his zone blocking scheme, Loggains’ play calling enabled Hoyer to distribute the ball to numerous players in the passing attack. For example, WR Eddie Royal, WR Kevin White, WR Alshon Jeffery, TE Zach Miller, WR Cameron Meredith, RB Jordan Howard, and TE Logan Paulsen all made catches.
If the Bears can establish a hard-nosed running game that enables play actions to allow the offense to dictate the action, Loggains has numerous receiving weapons to expose weaknesses in defenses. We’ll see if this is a formula that will work as the season progresses.