The Chicago Bears underwent a regime change in the offseason as Ryan Poles took over the front office as general manager from Ryan Pace, while Matt Eberflus replaced Matt Nagy as head coach. This season was expected to be a rocky one given how much work needed to be done to the roster, as multiple veterans were traded away from the defense.
Khalil Mack was the first to go in the offseason, as he was traded to the Los Angeles Chargers. Ahead of the trade deadline, Robert Quinn was sent to the Philadelphia Eagles and Roquan Smith went on his way to the Baltimore Ravens.
It sent a clear message about the franchise’s plans this season, as they are stockpiling assets for the future. They used some to help upgrade the offense, acquiring wide receiver Chase Claypool from the Pittsburgh Steelers as well.
The Bears are hopeful that Claypool can develop into a No. 1 receiver for Justin Fields and was the first of what will likely be numerous moves to help improve what has been an anemic passing game.
Chicago is last in the league in passing yards and attempts, but it is almost acceptable when you take into account just how dominant they have been on the ground. While the passing game is steadily improving but still needs work, the running game has been on point.
The Bears have been bludgeoning teams on the ground. They are first in the NFL with 325 rushing attempts and first in yardage with 1,759 and second in yards per carry at 5.4 through nine games.
There really isn’t a team that is close to them when it comes to producing on the ground this season. As shared by CBS Sports, the Bears are first in rushing yards per game at 195.4. Second on that list is the Baltimore Ravens, who are averaging 168.1 yards per game.
The Bears possess a three-headed monster on the ground, led by Fields, who has 602 yards and four touchdowns. The coaching staff is finally beginning to open things up and play into his strengths. He is gaining confidence on a weekly basis and has played some excellent football in the last few weeks.
Running backs Khalil Herbert and David Montgomery have a nearly identical 50/50 split of carries as Montgomery has 106 and Herbert has 98. Herbert is doing more with his and earning a bigger role, having 586 yards compared to 397 yards for Montgomery.
Fields’ presence is what makes this all work as teams have to account for him on every play otherwise he and his teammates will gash you on the ground. Just ask the Miami Dolphins, who experienced this firsthand in Week 9 as Fields set a regular season record with 178 rushing yards, including a 61-yard scramble for a touchdown.