Running back David Montgomery provided a bright spot in Sunday night's 34-14 season-opening loss to the Rams, rushing for 108 yards and one touchdown on 16 carries.
Last year when the Rams defense ranked No. 1 in the NFL in total yards and third against the run, the unit did not allow an opposing back to rush for more than 100 yards all season.
"David ran really hard, and it's fun to see because you've seen it all camp," said quarterback Andy Dalton. "You know what all he can do, and now you get him in a game atmosphere and for him to run the way he did, I love to see the way he played."
On the Bears' second play from scrimmage, Montgomery raced 41 yards to the Rams' 12. The third-year pro later rushed for a 3-yard touchdown with :34 left in the first half, cutting the deficit to 13-7. Montgomery has now scored a touchdown in seven straight regular season games.
Montgomery has now rushed for at least 100 yards in six career games, with four of those outings coming in his last seven contests.
Montgomery's 108-yard performance was the second best by an NFL running back in Week 1 (with only Monday night's Ravens-Raiders game remaining), topped only by the Bengals' Joe Mixon, who rushed for 127 yards.
Getting his feet wet: The Bears replaced Dalton with rookie Justin Fields on five plays sporadically throughout the game. The first-round pick completed 2 of 2 passes for 10 yards and rushed for a 3-yard touchdown that drew the Bears to within 20-14 late in the third quarter.
"I thought for the times that he got in there, that he did well, being his first game," said coach Matt Nagy. "Andy did a good job, too, of helping extend some of those drives. We'll continue to keep growing with that stuff and see what we want to do with that."
Depleted at tackle: The Bears lost two left tackles to injury in the game. Veteran Jason Peters exited with a quad injury late in the first half and rookie replacement Larry Borom left with an ankle injury in the third period. Elijah Wilkinson replaced Borom and played the rest of the game.
"We do have a little bit of depth there for those situations," Nagy said. "But certainly against this defense, that's not really what you want—not with [Wilkinson] but just losing two tackles."
Third downs better: Offensive coordinator Bill Lazor told reporters last week that the Bears were focused on improving on third down after ranking 31st in the NFL with a 34.6 percent success rate last season.
They converted at a 45.5 percent clip Sunday night (5 of 11), but went 0 of 4 on fourth down plays.
Milestone for Graham: With an 11-yard catch in the third quarter, Jimmy Graham became just the sixth tight end in NFL history with 700 career receptions. He's also one of only three tight ends with at least 700 catches, 8,000 yards and 80 touchdowns, joining Hall of Famers Tony Gonzalez and Antonio Gates.
Graham's 11-yard catch came against cornerback Jalen Ramsey on third-and-8 from the Rams' 11, setting up Fields' TD run on the next play.
"It was Jimmy one-on-one; that's basically what it was," Dalton said. "Gave him a shot and he made a great catch and got us down there, and Justin was able to punch it in after that."
Extending the streak: Allen Robinson II has now caught at least one pass in all 89 career games he's played since entering the NFL in 2014 with the Jaguars. Robinson caught a team-high six passes for 35 yards.
On the shelf: Nose tackle Eddie Goldman, who hurt his knee in practice Monday, was the only Bears player who sat out Sunday night's game due to an injury.
Staying put: Sunday night's result left both the Bears and Rams tied for first place (and every other position) in their respective divisions. In Week 1, all four NFC North teams lost and all four NFC West clubs won.
This and that: Inside linebacker Roquan Smith led the Bears with 11 tackles … The Bears recorded one sack, which was split by Akiem Hicks and Robert Quinn … The Rams scored on six of seven possessions in the game, not counting kneel-down drives to end both halves ... .. The Bears committed only three penalties for 35 yards … Both teams punted only once … The Bears ran 19 more plays than the Rams (69-50) and held advantages in first downs (24-18) and time of possession (35:14-24:46) but were outgained (386-322).
See the game unfold through the lenses of our sideline photographers as the Bears face off against the Rams under the lights in Los Angeles.