Chicago Bears: 5 Major takeaways from Week 10 win vs. Lions

Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images
Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images /
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Photo by David Banks/Getty Images
Photo by David Banks/Getty Images /

Nagy is still frustratingly stubborn with the running game

One of the frustrations with the Chicago Bears running game is how Nagy uses it. There are times when it appears that he completely forgets the running game. That seemed to be the case again in the first half.

As I mentioned, Montgomery, practically the only true running back on the roster, only ran the ball five times in the first half. Of course, the offense struggled for most of that half. Nagy called more running in the second half, but overall the Bears ran 24 times. Of those 24, one was by a wide receiver (a -1 yard run by Taylor Gabriel) and three were scrambles by Trubisky.

The Bears need to establish a better run game. I’m not saying to go back to John Fox’s pedestrian offense, but one where the running game is better involved. Nagy abandoned the run in the first half then went back to it in the second. That works against a struggling defense but against a better defense it causes plenty of problems as we’ve seen this season.

In the Bears’ blowout loss to the New Orleans Saints, Nagy said some words that made news, per NFL.com:

"I know we need to run the ball more. I’m not an idiot. I realize that. … I totally understand that. We need to (run the ball). I never go into a game saying I want to throw the ball 54 times. I would love to go into a game and say I want to run the ball 54 times, but … that just hasn’t happened, so this is what I have to answer to."

He hasn’t gone back to running just seven times in a game again, but Montgomery needs more than just 17 carries. He needs to be more involved in the offense. He’s shown that he could get more chunks of yards the more he runs. He has the elusiveness and balance and strength to break through the line. It takes a lot to bring him down and if he’s used more he could wear the defense down.

Nagy did show an incredible amount of confidence in the running game and Montgomery with that fourth-down call. It hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves. If he punts, who knows how the game turns out. The running game wasn’t showing much yet he went with it in a big moment and it paid off. He needs to do more of this.

I’ve advocated for Nagy to give up the playcalling and see what offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich could do. Nagy says he’s trying to involve the running game more but it’s not as effective as it should be. With the season on the brink, try another pair of eyes.