Bears notes: RB David Montgomery sets team’s season high for total yardage
It didn’t matter that the Chargers were on the alert for Montgomery getting the ball throughout Sunday’s game. He ran for 135 yards anyway.
Everybody knew the Bears would lean on their ground game against the Chargers after coach Matt Nagy got torched for calling only seven running plays last week, but Los Angeles still couldn’t lock down rookie David Montgomery.
Montgomery was the best part of the offense in an otherwise forgettable game as the Bears lost 17-16 to the Chargers on Sunday. He ran for 135 yards and a touchdown on 27 carries and chipped in 12 receiving yards for the most productive game by a Bears skill player this season.
“I tried to make sure I took advantage of every opportunity today and was sure to give God all the glory,” Montgomery said. “Everything was just clicking today in the run game. My O-line blocked their ass off. It just was going our way. But we came up short.”
The Bears put him in the I-formation with an extra lineman on the field for their opening play — the most overt possible signal they were going to run — and he powered through the line for a 10-yard gain.
Nagy stuck with the running attack even when it stalled. The Bears had 17 yards on nine carries midway through the second quarter, then Montgomery got going again.
He opened a drive with a 14-yard run to jump-start the Bears to an eventual field goal, then ignited another scoring drive by breaking loose for 55 yards with 1:59 left in the half. That run, behind right guard Rashaad Coward, was the Bears’ longest play from scrimmage this season.
“It was just him getting opportunities to make those plays happen,” said Tarik Cohen, who ran four times for nine yards. “That big run we saw, that’s all about giving body blows, giving body blows, giving body blows. He was just waiting for that one run to break.”
Easing defense’s burden
Despite Mitch Trubisky’s turnovers and the Bears struggling on third down, they lightened their defense’s workload by holding on to the ball a season-high 38 minutes. It was the fourth-highest mark in the NFL this season.
As a result, the Chargers ran only 42 offensive plays. The Bears’ defense had averaged 67 snaps per game and hadn’t played fewer than 57. They were on the field 74 plays in the loss to the Saints last week.
Another pick for Fuller
All-Pro cornerback Kyle Fuller did his best to spark the Bears’ offense when he intercepted Philip Rivers in the first quarter and returned it to the Chargers’ 4-yard line. The Bears couldn’t make any headway toward the end zone but took a 3-0 lead a few plays later.
It was Fuller’s third interception this season and the 18th of his career. Since the Bears drafted him No. 14 overall in 2014, the only players with more picks are Marcus Peters with 25 and seemingly retired safety Reggie Nelson with 20.