The Bears came into Sunday’s game against the Raiders with a desire to run the ball well and to control the game on the ground. They were starting an undrafted free agent rookie at quarterback in Tyson Bagent and wanted to relieve as much of the pressure on him as possible. The idea was that a solid run game could help get Bagent in rhythm while simultaneously neutralizing pass rusher Maxx Crosby as a game wrecker.
“All of our keys to victory were there,” said head coach Matt Eberflus. “When you’re able to run the ball the way we were, then they have to come up and crowd the line of scrimmage, which puts us in some good, advantageous pass positions, offensively. Overall, it was really good from the whole group.”
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A lot of folks deserve credit for the success. The game plan was solid and the offensive line created good running lanes up front. But the man who deserves the most credit was the man toting the rock for most of the game, D’Onta Foreman.
“D’Onta played out of his mind today,” said Bagent. “I thought he played extremely well, a little glimpse of what he was able to do last year. I know he was itching to get out there.”
Sunday was just Foreman’s third game of the season, and just his second start. He’s playing because Khalil Herbert is on injured reserve and Roschon Johnson is still in the concussion protocol. And Foreman was itching to get out there because he had been made a healthy scratch for four games in a row from Week 2 through Week 5.
“It felt great,” said Foreman. “I’m just trying to continue to be the best that I can be, continue to grow as a football player and a person, and just continue to dominate when I get my opportunities.”
To say Foreman dominated might actually be an understatement. He finished the day with 16 carries for 89 yards– good for a 5.6 YPC average– and three catches for another 31 yards. He showed off both his bruising style of ball, and his natural athleticism. Foreman routinely ran through defenders and bounced off contact for three touchdowns. On several occasions he hurdled over would-be tacklers for extra yards.
“I’ve been doing that my whole career,” Foreman said. “I started doing that in high school. Had a couple in college and had a couple in the NFL too. It’s just something I’ve always done.”
“They was clowning me a little bit after the first one, because I ain’t got over the guy. So I had to do it again to show them I could do it.”
No one was clowning Foreman after he set the tone for the day with physical runs through defenders. Instead they fed off his energy.
“He’s running his ass off, so that gives everybody juice,” said Darnell Wright. “Not just us, the whole team, defense, everybody on the sideline.”
In the end, Foreman played a huge role in giving the Bears a balanced attack on offense and taking some heat off of Bagent. Of course, the three scores helped the team a whole lot, too.
“Any time you’re able to do that, it makes things easier for everybody.”
Coming into the year, the Bears were deepest at running back. They seemed primed to feature a three-headed monster on the ground, but Foreman ended up being the odd man out since the team needed special teams help elsewhere. Now Foreman is finally getting his opportunity and so far he’s made the most of it. But he still wants more.
“Wish I could’ve turn some of the little runs I had into big runs,” Foreman said. “I wanna go watch the one where I tried to jump over the safety. Maybe I could’ve just gave him a move and kept running, so might want to have that one back.
“Other than that felt great, honestly.”