Will the Chicago Bears repeat as the best rushing team in the NFL?

If they want to compete in the NFC North, running the ball might be their best bet.

Chicago Bears v Detroit Lions
Chicago Bears v Detroit Lions / Nic Antaya/GettyImages

The Chicago Bears offense is notorious for its run-heavy, physical style. It beats their opponents into submission and chews the clock. Will this trend continue in 2023?

Last season, the Bears offense rushed for 3,014 yards, the most in the league. Repeating as the best rushing team in the league might help them make some serious noise in the NFC North. It will also hide their weak spots, such as pass blocking and defense.

When it comes to the trenches, the Chicago Bears added a mauler in offensive guard Nate Davis during free agency. The former Tennessee Titan is accustomed to paving the way for a smashmouth offense. Davis was a vital cog in the Titans rushing attack led by All-Pro running back Derrick Henry, who ran for 2,027 rushing yards in 2020 thanks to Davis' blocking.

Can the Chicago Bears repeat their rushing performance from 2022?

Besides Davis, the Bears' offensive line will have continuity from last season. Cody Whitehair will be back at center, Braxton Jones will assume the role of left tackle in his sophomore season and Tevin Jenkins will start at left guard again. Darnell Wright, the Bears 2023 first-round pick, will also make his debut at right tackle at some point this season. The experience and teamwork gained from last season will surely carry over into this season with so many familiar faces back.

Despite the addition of Davis and some offensive line continuity heading into this season, there's no denying the Chicago Bears offensive line is a liability. It's a big reason they signed Davis and drafted Wright in the first round.

The Bears gave up 58 sacks last season, the fourth most in the league. If they want Fields to stay upright and improve as a passer, this can't happen again. Running the ball more in 2023 will help the offensive line hold its own. Instead of dropping back in pass protection, the Bears linemen will move forward and initiate contact at the line of scrimmage. This will keep the Bears' offensive line physical throughout the game and ready to pass block when necessary.

After getting tired of running backs plowing through open holes, NFL defenses will have to honor the Bears' run and stack the box. This will open up the playbook for Fields to air the ball out to his receivers. Now, the Chicago Bears have the opportunity to unleash the play-action pass, deep ball and other passing concepts. With a potent rushing attack behind Fields, he just might be able to reach his potential as a passer instead of running for his life every other play like we saw last season.

Similarly, the Bears had the shameful honor of being the worst defense in the league last season, per Pro Football Reference. The Bears have to like their chances if they keep their defense off the field. By implementing a methodical offense focused on dominating the time of possession with the run, the Bears can take command of their own destiny.


Bears legend Mike Dikta won a Super Bowl with a run-first offensive philosophy in 1985.Lovie Smith got them back to the Super Bowl by running the ball in 2006. Bears head coach Matt Eberflus should make the head coaches of old proud and guide an offense that repeats as the No. 1 rushing team in football. And maybe, just maybe, it helps them win an NFC North title.