Chicago Bears lean on running game early in Week 1 win
Fans have been asking for the Chicago Bears to run the ball more on early downs. In Week One, Matt Nagy gave them their wish
One thing that has annoyed Chicago Bears fans over the past few years is Matt Nagy’s reluctance to lean on the running game. Too often, a first and ten run for zero would shy Nagy away from calling a first and ten run for the rest of the half.
This would not be a huge issue, but for the state of the offensive line and quarterback, the lack of versatility started to hurt both. So, all offseason fans have been crying to stick with the run, even if it does not work at first.
It is early into the 2020 season, but Matt Nagy has noted he wants to establish a stronger run game, and he got that on Sunday. The Chicago Bears trailed on Sunday, and wound up passing more than running.
However, early into the game, and especially on early downs, Matt Nagy relied on feeding his running backs Tarik Cohen and David Montgomery.
According to Sharp Football Stats, the Bears threw the ball 55% of the time on early downs in 2019. On Sunday, that was an even 50/50 split with as many early down rushes as passes.
Even down 20-6 in the fourth quarter, Nagy called two straight runs to get things going. By the end of the game Cohen and Montgomery combined for 20 carries and 105 yards. Adding in Cordarelle Patterson gives the team 24 rushes for 124 yards.
This was not a game where they ran, and, ran into a brick wall. It was not a game where they even leaned on the run. However, the even distribution of run to pass opened both areas up, and made the Bears a more multiple team overall. The commitment to the run is enough to help the pass.