Jordan Howard will carry Chicago Bears vs. Saints

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 24: Jordan Howard
CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 24: Jordan Howard /

Chicago Bears rushing game should see bounce-back performance

Chicago Bears running back Jordan Howard has not had a sophomore slump, but his 2017 season has yet to be as magical as 2016. Sure, he had huge games against the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers. Still, in most games, he has been held to pedestrian numbers.

In fact this season he is averaging 4.0 yards per carry on the season, compared to 5.2 last season. It is fair to say that the passing game has had a lot to do with this discrepancy in numbers. The play calling as well. However, it is also fair to assume that if Howard is going to get back on his track of last year, it is going to start this week.

There is talk that the Saints defense has been better than years prior. It is true, some of their younger talents have stepped up and the defense is no longer bottom barrel, they do still have a major weakness. The Saints have ranked sixth in passing defense, but rank 26th in defensive efficiency. Sheldon Rankins is a nice threat at defensive tackle, but in a 4-3 he has little talent to play beside him. On top of that, their inside linebacker situation has had some shuffling. If there is a way to get after the Saints, it is running the football through the middle of the field.

Given their identity on offense, this is perfect for the Bears. The Bears want to win the time of possession battle, which would be huge in a battle between Drew Brees and Mitchell Trubisky.

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The skillset has been there for Howard. It feels like this is the first time that the matchup and situation will be there as well. Look for Howard to get going and boost his season yards per carry total while breaking off a few big runs through the middle of a weak Saints run defense.