This stat proves opponents do not respect Chicago Bears OL
The Chicago Bears offensive line is being disrespected and they have not done anything about it
I do not need to tell you that the Chicago Bears running game has been an issue. Most Bears fans also recognize that this has come down to the offensive line failing to gain a significant push as well.
Most fans will not blame David Montgomery, and for the most part, he has created as much as he can. However, collectively, Montgomery ranks 22nd in yards, 50th in yards per carry, and 26th in yards per game.
What is even more disappointing is that teams are not even respecting their running game.
According to NextGenStats David Montgomery ranks eighth in the NFL in the least amount of 8-man boxes face. Only 9.76% of the time when Montgomery carries the ball does he see a loaded box.
For comparison, Mike Davis sees a loaded box of 31.25% of the time. Derrick Henry, Myles Gaskin, Jonathan Taylor, and Darrell Henderson join him seeing over 25% of their carries against 8-man boxes. Teams are loading up to defend these backs, and In a lot of cases, these backs are still creating.
There is often one or two fewer defenders in the box when Montgomery gets the ball, and he is still less effective.
Below are the only players who face an 8-man box less than 10% of the time
Devin Singletary, Miles Sanders, Austin Ekler, Devonta Freeman, Frank Gore, Joe Mixon, Antonio Gibson, and Alvin Kamara.
Below you can see how they compare on the ground
Singletary – 71 rushes, 270 yards, 3.8
Sanders – 71 rushes, 434 yards, 6.1
Ekeler – 49 rushes – 248 – 5.1
Freeman -51 rushes -164 – 3.2
Gore – 75 rushes – 250 – 3.3
Mixon – 119 rushes – 428 – 3.6
Gibson – 64 rushes- 243 – 3.8
Montgomery – 82 rushes – 305 – 3.7
Kamara – 61 rushes – 281 – 4.6
Montgomery is second in carries, but third in yards. However, he is sixth in yards per carry, with only Gibson, Gore, and Freeman posting lower rates.
One huge theme between most of these names is that they can carve you up in the passing game. Of course, in the case of Freeman and Gore, you can argue it is a lack of respect for their line and burst.
To be fair, Montgomery is second amongst these names in receiving yards, even if you would consider all five of the others better receivers. However, that is more tied to volume with Austin Ekeler banged up and Montgomery seeing a lot of work in place of Tarik Cohen.
Still, when you look at yards after the catch per reception you can see that Montgomery is sixth out of seventh. Overall, Montgomery ranks 29th in yards after the catch per reception, despite being eight in targets and yards.
Ekeler – 10.5
Gibson – 9.7
Mixon – 8.5
Singletary – 7.1
Sanders – 8.7
This is not to highlight that Montgomery is a lousy receiving back. It is more to say that Kamara seeing a lightbox is not for the same reason as Montgomery. Even in the case of Mixon, Gibson, and Sanders, you can argue the lightbox is less about their receiving prowess and more about a lack of respect for their offensive line.
Teams are not worried about Montgomery ripping off big gains if they come out with a lightbox. This gives a defense a huge advantage in the numbers game.
With five skill players and one is the running back, and an eight-man box brings one of the four defenders who will have to guard the others into the box. With four or more defensive players out in the defensive secondary, there are a lot fewer holes to throw into.
Teams load up the box against Tennessee, and they rip teams apart with the pass. Teams sit back and play the pass against Chicago, and use their four-man front to beat the Bears five offensive lineman to stop the run.