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Bears Run Contrary to Matt Nagy's Preferred Style

Matt Nagy probably didn't want to open Pandora's Box, so to speak, but he did so out of desperation after nothing else worked.

Now Bears linemen have a taste of downhill running and would like more.

The 135-yard day from David Montgomery on Sunday whetted the appetites of linemen to run more power-style plays and no doubt of the Bears' rookie back to get more carries.

"A game like this will help all of us on offense because we know we can run the ball, we know we can," tackle Charles Leno Jr. said. "It’s going to help everything out – balance, the run game mixed with the pass game. We just need to capitalize when we get close to the end zone so we can win football games."

The red zone problems were well documented at 1-for-5 for touchdowns Sunday, but before the Bears couldn't even get to the red zone. They'd been there only 14 times and were 29th in the league at chances there.

"When you're able to run the ball it changes the whole situation of the game," wide receiver Allen Robinson said. "All the different ways to get third downs and stuff like that, just the situational things.

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"Again, I'm not sure how many third-and-short runs we had but we converted. We had a lot of third-and-2, maybe third-and-3 and some fourth-and-1 situations. Situations like that in the game are pretry much ideal. That's how you get high conversion rates. You get in some of those good situations rather than being tough third-and-10."

The irony of the running game's effectiveness is it came not in Nagy's pet RPO-style offense but out of the classic I-formation with a tailback and fullback, much like it did when Jordan Howard was a Bears back under John Fox.

"You can see it from the first play," Leno said. "I formation, simple, but it's just a way that offensive linemen and running backs can hit their hole, get off the ball and just be physical, and that’s what we were doing.

"Just things like that. Not a lot of RPO stuff, just going straight at defenders because as offensive linemen and running backs that's what we like to do. We like to go straight downhill."

Nagy admitted he never thought during the summer when he was talking about 200-level courses in his offense, that he'd be running I formations. He joked about it, calling it "8 yards and a cloud of dust."

"So who knows, you know? Maybe we come out running like winged-T next week and we win?" Nagy said.