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Postgame Perspective: Montgomery central to offensive resurgence


David Montgomery showed the Minnesota Vikings how much of a difference-maker he can be.

The second-year running back continued his strong performance since missing the Week 10 matchup against the Vikings at Soldier Field. Montgomery rushed for a career-high 146 yards and two touchdowns Sunday in Minnesota, pushing the Bears to a second straight victory.

The last game against the Vikings represented a low point for the Bears offense. The team managed 149 yards, including 41 rushing yards, with the team's only touchdown coming on a Cordarrelle Patterson kick return.

Five weeks later, the Bears looked like a different team, winning the game on the offense's strength and topping 30 points for the third consecutive week in a 33-27 victory.

Montgomery does not believe the change requires a detailed explanation.

"Just one word, really," said Montgomery. "It's 'trust'—me trusting in them, them trusting in me. And the guys around us, the wide receivers, them trusting me, me trusting in them. That's what it all falls down on is just trust. Trusting each other from the first snap to the last snap."

Montgomery has now scored a touchdown in four consecutive games, the longest streak for a Bears player since Tarik Cohen's four-game streak in 2018. Montgomery's re-emergence, along with the running threat of reinstated starting quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, has kept defenses off balance.

"It's big because you have the threat of Mitch getting out onto the edge," said coach Matt Nagy, "and then the play-actions—you've gotta keep them off-balanced with that. It's all working in sync right now. All three parts of that are good."

Over the last four weeks, Montgomery has rushed for 434 yards, accounting for nearly half of his season total. Over that period, he has averaged 6.1 yards per carry.

"David is a beast, man," said receiver Darnell Mooney. "You always know he is going to run through two or three guys regardless of who is around, but David is a monster, man. It doesn't matter who is around. He's going to push it through at least a couple more yards."

Montgomery had recorded one rushing touchdown in the first nine games of the season. He has now recorded five in the last three games, including Sunday's 14-yard score in the third quarter, the time when the Bears have struggled the most on offense.

"The O-line just opened up a crease as they have been doing," said Montgomery. "The receivers blocking their tails off. And I just seen it, and I hit it, kept my legs going and was able to get in there."

Montgomery has been sure to praise his offensive line. The Bears' current lineup, which included moving Cody Whitehair to guard and starting Sam Mustipher at center, has stayed constant for the past four games.

"Kudos and hats off to those guys," said Montgomery. "Like I said, Sam being a leader, Alex [Bars] being who he is, Charles [Leno Jr.] being who he is, Cody being who he is, [Germain] Ifedi, they all just come together. Their personalities just make that line so much better. So I appreciate those guys and everything that they do and how they come to work."

Nagy's offense has typically avoided leaning on a single running back. Montgomery is the first Bears player to rush for over 100 yards in consecutive games since Jordan Howard in 2016. However, with 32 carries on Sunday, Montgomery showed his value as an old school workhorse.

"Make it count," said Montgomery. "Let's not regret giving me that many carries. Let me make sure that I show my O-line that I'm giving them everything that I got, show the wide receivers that I'm giving them everything that I got every chance I get. That was just the main thing, letting them know that they got all of me."

Trubisky has mentioned the value of play-action to his recent improved play. However, for play-action to be effective, the defense needs to respect the running game. With his performance on Sunday, Montgomery showed that defenses underestimate him at their peril.

"From the first snap to the last," said Montgomery, "you can always kinda tell how the defense wants to play against you, how the D-line's flowing, how the linebackers are flowing, and being able to keep going and keep punching, you know that takes a toll on defenses. It was able to take a toll today, and we were able to capitalize off of it."

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