While self-scouting the Bears' struggling offense during the bye week, one issue that stood out to coach Matt Nagy was the unit's inability to run the ball.
After averaging 138.0 yards rushing in winning their first three games, the Bears have been limited to an average of 52.6 yards on the ground while losing five of their last seven contests. During that stretch, they've rushed for more than 63 yards just once, including outputs of 28, 35 and 41 yards.
"I just feel like we have a good pulse on knowing that, big picture, the struggle to run the football is where a lot of this stuff starts," Nagy said. "[There's] different reasons for that. Is it scheme? Is it execution? Is it a little bit of both? And then knowing, 'OK, that has to get better.' I don't care who we're playing, the run game has to get better. You just see teams across the league that are able to establish the run. It helps open up other areas of the field."
The Bears enter Week 12 ranked last in the NFL in rushing, averaging 78.2 yards per game. With starting running back David Montgomery sidelined by a concussion last Monday night against the Vikings, they mustered only 41 yards on 17 carries with a long run of just six yards in a 19-13 loss at Soldier Field.
Montgomery's return to action Sunday night in Green Bay would give the Bears (5-5) a big boost as they attempt to snap a four-game losing streak. The 2019 third-round draft pick from Iowa State leads the team in rushing with 472 yards and one touchdown on 131 carries.
"I don’t care who we’re playing, the run game has to get better.” Bears coach Matt Nagy
"I just feel like he's a leader in that huddle and he does it in a quiet manner," Nagy said. "This guy, now, he's a fighter, and I know it just killed him to miss that [Vikings] game. But I think being able to have him get back, just that level of confidence and that toughness that he brings to the huddle and every time he touches the football, I know that he's a complete team player. He's all about 'we' and our team, so every game that goes by he has more and more experience, so I'm excited to get him back."