The Chicago Bears are waiting for Justin Fields to finally flip the switch. It feels like the only way this team will be able to save its season at this point. There is no elite defense to save them this time. Sadly, it doesn’t look like any hero will be stepping out of the phone booth. Fields has not looked right since the season began. Whatever is happening in practice, things aren’t clicking for him on Sundays. That is why this team is underdogs against an opponent that gave up 70 points last week.
However, there might be one avenue to victory. It would involve returning to what this franchise has done best for decades: running the ball. ESPN predicted the top fantasy sleepers this week. One of them is rookie running back Roschon Johnson. They feel he’s shown flashes of a breakout game the past couple of weeks. Now he’ll play the Denver Broncos and their 32nd-ranked run defense. It is the ideal setup for Johnson to show everybody he is a legitimate featured back.
“The Bears’ offense hit rock bottom against the Chiefs in Week 3, and having trouble completing easy passes has been a major issue for Chicago’s offense. Since 2021, quarterback Justin Fields has had the highest off-target rate of any quarterback. The Bears need to make more use of Fields’ mobility and the run game, and Johnson has been their most productive backfield player (5.3 yards per carry). There is potential for him to have a breakout performance against a Broncos defense that gave up 96.2 fantasy points last week to Raheem Mostert and De’Von Achane.”
The Chicago Bears need to feed Johnson.
While Khalil Herbert is a solid back, he’s not a primary one. There is a reason the Bears featured David Montgomery more often last season. He had the build to handle heavy workloads. Herbert does not. He’s far more effective as a rotational slasher. Johnson is big and strong. He’s used to heavy contact and understands how to run through it. This is the kind of guy that wears defenses out until they can’t take it anymore in the 4th quarter. Denver’s defense is depleted and demoralized. A smart coaching staff would be eager to grind them down.
Whether the Chicago Bears have the common sense to do this is another story. Johnson has averaged 1.3 yards more per carry than Herbert through three games but has six fewer carries. He’s also been a far bigger threat in the passing game, both as a receiver and blocker. If nobody else is going to step up, then the Bears need to give the rookie a chance to seize the moment. Take the pressure off Fields and ride the running game. It might not be the progress people want, but it has to be about winning a game right now.