Jordan Howard Receives Workhorse Treatment in Ascending Bears Offense, Verge of “Cheatcode” Status

Jordan Howard's increased passing game role came to fruition, and his fantasy ceiling is now limitless.

Matt Nagy promised to use Jordan Howard as an “every-down back,” and he kept his word in Week 1. Howard logged 50 of the team’s 70 snaps (71%), received 15 of 20 carries (75%), saw 5 of 9 RB targets (55%). He ran more routes and saw more targets than Tarik Cohen, and, more importantly, Howard hauled in all five of his looks after topping RBs in drops. This included a number of difficult catches in stride, and though he didn’t find the end zone, Howard racked up 107 total yards while looking like the offensive centerpiece of a clearly ascending Bears’ attack. 

Howard was also brilliant as a runner, often turning seemingly negative runs into chunk yardage with his trademark vision and power on some nasty cut backs. We preached about Howard’s upside returning to a more shotgun-based offense, and his glove-like fit was evident here. With this extensive, more creative usage, Howard seems bound for his best season yet.

This is especially true in Nagy’s new, creative attack. Though they stalled after halftime, the Bears flashed some serious innovation, running a bevy of unique option runs, and moving the ball with ease on the Packers in the first half. Howard is among the league’s most efficient short yardage runners, and the TDs are bound to follow in this ascending overall offense. Mitch Trubisky won’t be without growing pains — this was evident in a painfully stagnant second half — but he also flashed some real upside as a runner and gunslinger throughout the game. The more comfortable he grows, the better this offense will click, and Howard’s arrow is pointing right up with the entire unit.


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