- Montgomery had back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons with Iowa State
- Rookie likely to share carries with Tarik Cohen to start season
- Bears averaged 121.1 rushing yards per game in 2018
Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy couldn’t hide his excitement after watching rookie running back David Montgomery’s solid performance in a pre-season loss to the Carolina Panthers.
Montgomery had just three carries for 16 yards, but scored on a seven-yard rush in the second quarter, adding in several other highlight-reel moves to make a strong first impression.
“He runs hard,” Matt Nagy said in a news conference. “He’s angry when he runs and he’s tough to bring down with that first defender.”
Following Montgomery’s debut, sportsbooks released Over/Under odds on the rookie’s rushing yards for the 2019 NFL season, setting the projected line at 850.
David Montgomery 2019 Regular Season Rushing Yards Over-Under Odds
|Projected Rushing Yards||Over Odds||Under Odds|
Odds taken 08/16/2019
Can the rookie have a breakout season and top 1,000 rushing yards in 2019?
It can only get better for Chicago after a disappointing from last year’s lead back, Jordan Howard, who was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles in the offseason.
Montgomery comes to the Bears to replace Howard, who averaged just 3.7 yards per carry last season and was eventually usurped for touches by 3rd down and passing back Tarik Cohen later in the year.
— PFF (@PFF) August 9, 2019
Howard led the Bears in rushing last season with 935 yards, but averaged just 58.4 per game. Howard’s poor season followed two stellar years in which he rushed for 1,200 or more yards. Chicago still managed to finish 11th in rushing offense with 1,938 total yards last season. The Bears also averaged 121.1 rushing yards per game.
Chicago Bears’ 2018 Regular Season Rushing Stats
With Howard moving on to the Eagles, that leaves the door open for Montgomery to take control.
Montgomery will likely share carries with Tarik Cohen to start the season, but has the potential to be the primary running back on the Bears, especially if he can find the form that made him so dominant in the college ranks.
The rookie out of Iowa State rushed for more than 1,000 in two seasons with the Cyclones. Montgomery also added 24 TD receptions out of the backfield, making him a versatile asset for the Bears this season and into the future.
Cohen, who is entering his third season with the Bears, had 99 carries and rushed for 444 yards in 16 games last season. He had three rushing touchdowns, but was more productive in Chicago’s passing game with 71 receptions and five touchdown catches.
While Cohen provides more flexibility and another target for QB Mitchell Trubisky, Montgomery should be relied on heavily to run the ball and the rookie’s workload will steadily rise as the season progresses.
Is there value in taking the Over on Montgomery’s projected total rushing yards?
Taking the Over on 850 rushing yards for a rookie may seem iffy, but Montgomery has proven he has the talent to grow into a legitimate No. 1 running back in the NFL.
Pick: Over 850 yards, -115
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