LAKE FOREST – The Bears’ 2-0 start is a test of the “Glass Half Full, Glass Half Empty” way of thinking.
On one hand, the Bears are undefeated to start the season after Week 2 for the first time in seven years. With expanded playoffs, that could come in handy for the team who could squeeze in with an 8-8 or 9-7 record.
On the other hand, the team’s inconsistent play barely got them victories over two teams that are very much trying to find themselves after bad 2019 seasons. So what this start means really changes from person to person.
The Bears have been the same, publically balancing being pleased with being 2-0 on the season while also understanding things have to improve. But at least there is one area that has remained consistent this season – and it’s one area that certainly wasn’t in 2019.
Led by David Montgomery, the Bears’ rushing attack has been strong through the first two games, averaging 142 yards per game. That’s tied for eighth in the NFL with the Kansas City Chiefs with a 4.7 yard per carry average so far.
Montgomery has been the most impressive on the ground, gaining 146 yards on 29 carries, which comes out to an average of five a carry.
“My mentality’s completely different. Just being able to transform myself from rookie year to my second year now. Understanding things a lot better; the running scheme being what the running scheme and understanding it more,” said Montgomery. “It’s definitely more fluid and more understanding for me, so I can just go out and play.”
Matt Nagy has noticed the change in approach both in preparations on and off the field with his second year running back, which he believes has led to the improvement.
“This year he’s doing it all. He’s practicing really hard, he’s prepping all week for those carries that he gets,” said Nagy of Montgomery. “I really appreciate his attitude, the way that he handles his day-to-day deal. I think he’s going to be a really, really good football in the end.”
But in the spirit of keeping perspective, its only Week 2, and more formidable defenses will await this so far rejuvenated rushing attack.
“It’s hard to run the ball in this league but it’s also so imperative to run the ball in this league. In order to win the time of possession, be able to control a game,” said center Cody Whitehair. “So we take a lot of pride in that, especially as offensive lineman and us as an offense just, in general, we take a lot of pride in where we are in the run game.
“We’ve just got to keep getting better week in and week out, and we will.”
It’s a “Glass Half Full” thought when it comes to a consistently positive part of the early part of the Bears’ season.
See more on the Bears on Chicago Football Weekly with Jarrett Payton and Lauren Magiera on Saturday nights during the season at 6 PM on WGN-TV.