David Montgomery seems to be very happy to be a Detroit Lion. The Bears have insinuated that Montgomery chose to leave Chicago over this offseason to pursue a fresh start with a new team. So far, it’s clear Montgomery made the right choice.
The Lions lead the NFC North with an 8-2 record. They have one of the most balanced and prolific offenses in the league. And Montgomery is in the middle of it all.
He clearly loves it.
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“I call this place the land of the misfit toys,” Montgomery told reporters in a video published on social media after Sunday’s game. “You get a lot of guys who have been told ‘no’ their whole life, been told they’ve never been good enough. We’ve got a beautiful city with gritty, blue-collar people.
“You know people have looked at this city for a while as not taken serious. Now, we’re getting to be serious. The city of Detroit is behind us and you can feel it, you know? We’ve got a bunch of guys in this locker room, and coaches who are high-character guys, gritty guys. You see what it’s like when, for a long time, you got beat down. The tide begins to change.”
The tides really began to change in Detroit last season when the Lions shook off a 1-6 start to finish the year with a 9-8 record, one win shy of a postseason berth. Head coach Dan Campbell has been a big reason why, with his heartfelt messaging and culture that celebrates hard work and the grittiness that Montgomery noted. On the field, a dominant run game has been the key on offense.
Last season, Jamaal Williams led the league with 17 touchdowns for the Lions. This year, Montgomery has stepped into Williams’ previous role– and he’s added an explosive element, too. Montgomery has carried the ball 118 times for 577 yards and eight scores in just seven games. His 4.9 YPC average is much better than Williams’ 4.1 average in 2022.
Montgomery also got the pleasure of being the man to put the Lions over his former team for good on Sunday. It was his one-yard plunge with just 29 seconds to go that proved to be the game winner.
Montgomery's former teammates were upset to have lost to the Lions, but glad to see that Montgomery is succeeding in his new home.
"David's my brother," said Justin Fields after the game. "No matter where you are in life, in our football careers... He's a great person and of course a great player, so it was great seeing him."