Matt Nagy on Bears' running game: ‘We need to be better'


The Chicago Bears' struggles in the running game continued Sunday in Week 5's loss to the Oakland Raiders, who entered the contest with a middle-of-the-pack run defense that figured to provide RB David Montgomery with an opportunity for a breakout performance.

Instead, Montgomery finished the day with just 11 carries for 25 yards and a one-yard TD run. Tarik Cohen didn't fare any better. He managed just 10 yards on four carries. With QB Chase Daniel and WR Cordarrelle Patterson's modest contributions to the box score, the Bears finished Week 5 with just 42 rushing yards on 17 carries. Chicago was 27th in rushing when Sunday kicked off; they're certain to drop even further down that list once Tuesday morning rolls around.

Coach Matt Nagy stated the obvious in London following the game.

"Our options are to play better," Nagy said when asked about what the team can do to jumpstart the ground attack. "I mean, it's as simple as that. We need to be better -- I mean, our run game needs to get better."

It all starts with the offensive line, where the Bears have been struggling mightily in 2019. Montgomery has been bottled up, in part, because there's just nowhere to run as soon as he gets the ball.

"You know, in this game, you know, it usually starts up front, and that's -- we know that. We preach it," Nagy said. "We talk it. We understand that, and we just throughout the game weren't real successful offensively with running the football. It's been an issue this year, and so we need to figure out why."

Montgomery hasn't played up to his preseason expectations through the first five games of his career. He has just 225 yards and two touchdowns on 69 carries, which puts him on pace for 720 yards six scores. He was supposed to be an upgrade from Jordan Howard, who finished 2018 with 935 yards and nine touchdowns and is off to a solid start with the Eagles this season; he's averaging nearly 4.8 yards per carry. Mongtomery, on the other hand, is gaining just 3.26 yards per tote.

Sometimes, the only way to spark improvement is by making a change. Perhaps a change needs to be made along the offensive line. Maybe Mike Davis needs more carries. The bye week will certainly give Nagy and the rest of the coaching staff ample opportunity to figure it all out. 

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