As the Green Bay Packers prepare to face off against the Chicago Bears on Thursday Night Football, they are in need of finding their ground game. Aaron Rodgers has powered the Packers single-handedly for too long and they are hopeful that running back Ty Montgomery can find himself and establish the running game this week.
Coming into the season, head coach Mike McCarthy was very confident in Montgomery. Despite the fact that he was a former wide receiver and did not have an ideal body for an every-down running back, McCarthy believed that Montgomery would be just fine. He has not been awful throughout the first three weeks, but there is a lot of room for improvement.
Throughout the first three weeks of the season, Montgomery has carried the football 41 times for 124 yards and two touchdowns. Those numbers round out to 3.0 yards per carry, which isn’t quite what Green Bay is looking for. His season-high rushing total for a single game is 54 yards, which game in Week 1 against Seattle.
Looking ahead at the game against Chicago this week, the Bears’ defense has had major struggles. If there was a game that Montgomery could use as a springboard to bigger things for the remainder of the season, this would be that game.
Green Bay has mentioned that they would like to take some pressure off of Montgomery and limit his snaps more than they have so far this season. Perhaps that could mean a larger role for rookie backup Jamaal Williams. If they go that route, it would not be surprising to see the Packers’ ground game pick up a bit, as many in the organization view Williams as their best pure runner.
McCarthy will never abandon the running game, but he may start shying away from it if Montgomery is unable to pick things up.
Taking pressure off of Rodgers is an absolute must for the Packers if they want to make a Super Bowl run this season. They have made some improvements to their defense, but an offense that rests entirely on Rodgers will never last against top competition.
So far this season as a team, Green Bay is tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers for 27th in the league in rushing. Chicago’s defense is ranked eighth against the run. It may not look like a favorable matchup for Montgomery, but the Bears always focus extremely hard on slowing Rodgers down and normally leave the ground game open.
It will be interesting to see what kind of offensive gameplan McCarthy puts together for this week’s game. Chicago is only ranked 22nd in the league in passing defense, which could mean a pass-heavy offense for the Packers. Even if that is the case, Montgomery needs to make a much larger impact in the touches that he does get.
Expect to see the Packers look to get Montgomery going early in the game. If he is unable to make plays in the early stages of the game, Green Bay will once again go away from him. Montgomery cannot allow that to happen if he wants to maintain complete job security and needs to show Rodgers that he can be a legitimate option on the ground.
Do you think Ty Montgomery will turn his season around and get back on track? If not, do the Packers need to look elsewhere to bolster their ground game? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below!