National analyst praises Chicago Bears running back
The Chicago Bears running attack has been the best part of the offense for a long time. David Montgomery has been the undisputed leader in the Bears’ run game for the past three seasons. In 2020, Montgomery eclipsed 1,000-yards rushing on the way to eight scores for the team.
Montgomery’s stability has one national analyst taking notice. Cynthia Frelund, with NFL Network, put Montgomery on her list of the NFL’s most underappreciated players. Here’s what she wrote:
I wish the Bears had addressed their O-line in a way I better understood as an outsider this offseason. After finishing the 2021 season with PFF’s 22nd-ranked unit, Chicago let starters James Daniels and Jason Peters walk, replacing them with journeymen Julie’n Davenport and Dakota Dozier. I will be watching this situation closely to help forecast Montgomery’s fantasy value. However, his real-world value is in part shown by computer vision metrics that indicate how much contact a back deals with. Not only was Montgomery contacted before getting to top speed at the third-highest rate last season, but he also faced multiple hits on the fifth-highest percentage of rushes and runs after the catch. And yet, he managed to haul in 82.4 percent of the passes thrown to him in 2021 (with a catch rate of 78.6 percent for his career). In other words, if the O-line can step up, Montgomery could soar.
Hopefully, Montgomery’s success continues
The offensive line is looking to change its shape to fit a new run scheme in 2022. This should aid Montgomery’s style and help to be more lethal this season. As Bears fans have witnessed, his size is certainly not to be trifled with on the first tackler. Montgomery has also improved from when he was drafted in catching the ball.
The Bears transitioning their offensive line could be a challenge for Montgomery if they struggle to learn the scheme. However, Montgomery has had plenty of experience with adversity with three new quarterbacks and living in Matt Nagy’s system. Montgomery should be set up for success with a better regime.
More to work on
While Montgomery has done well with the adversity he’s faced, he still has more to show before nabbing a new contract after this season. Because running backs in the NFL are relatively easy to replace, Montgomery needs to work on finding the endzone more and upping his run average. Montgomery has only scored a total of 21 touchdowns in his three-year career.
Last season, Montgomery ranked 44th in yards per rush attempt. Since he’s been in the league, Montgomery has never finished a season in the top 32 running backs in yards per rush attempt. It’s taken him a lot of touches for him to reach 2808 career rushing yards. Until he fixes those metrics, Montgomery isn’t that underrated.
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