David Montgomery excels, injuries, Roquan Smith’s solid play

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Despite his impressive performance, the only number that mattered to Montgomery was the final score.

“I really don’t care individually,” he said. “Honestly, I don’t care. I would be a lot happier if I had 12 yards averaging 0.1 yards per run if we got the win. Winning is completely different than having good stats when you lose. . I’m telling you from my perspective. So individual stats, I don’t care. I don’t care. I just want to win. “

Choose four: Andy Dalton threw four interceptions for the first time since Dec. 15, 2019, while playing for the Bengals in a 34-13 loss to the Patriots. But he suffered a bit of bad luck, with his first two picks over wide receiver Jakeem Grant Sr. and tight end Cole Kmet and the third being deflected by outside linebacker Chandler Jones.

“The only thing about Andy is that Andy has done a great job in his career being smart with football,” Nagy said. “He’s very smart. He knows where to go. He knows when to get the ball out. There aren’t any stats in the NFL for interceptions that don’t happen on the quarterback, but there probably should be. . “

Improvement display: Montgomery’s performance wasn’t the only positive in attack on Sunday. The unit scored three touchdowns for the first time since a Week 2 win over the Bengals; converted 6 of 15 third down chances and 4 of 4 fourth down games; scored touchdowns on all three possessions in the red zone; and produced 26 first tries, a high for the season.

But Nagy found little solace in those bright spots, saying, “This stuff is nice to happen when you win. The only thing that matters is winning and losing.”

Game of gadgets: The Bears’ longest play in a scrum, a 34-yard pass, came on a trap play in the third quarter. Montgomery took a shotgun direct shot from the Wildcat formation and passed the baton to Grant, who threw the ball at Dalton. Dalton then escaped a rusher and hit Grant on the straight sideline.

“We’ve had this for a little while,” Nagy said. “They played him well, and that was the secondary part of the game, throwing him ’17’ down the sideline. Andy did a great job because he had a guy in front of him. messed up and went straight from his first step to second step, put in a good pitch. So give these guys credit for running it. “

The man in the middle: Despite a hamstring injury that forced him to forgo the Bears’ Thanksgiving win over the Lions, Roquan Smith not only started on Sunday, but recorded eight tackles and one tackle for loss, a record for the team. . Smith was listed as questionable on the injury report after returning to training Friday on a limited basis after being absent on Wednesday and Thursday. He entered Week 13 tied for fourth in the NFL with 112 tackles.

On the bookshelf: The Bears players who missed Sunday’s game with injuries were quarterback Justin Fields (ribs), running back Damien Williams (calf), receivers Allen Robinson II (hamstrings) and Marquise Goodwin (foot / ribs) ), defensive tackle Akiem Hicks (ankle) and defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. (ribs). Security Teez Tabor was also inactive.

Back to top: Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray and wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins both returned after missing three games with ankle and hamstring injuries, respectively. Murray, who entered Week 13 leading the NFL with a passer rating of 110.4, completed 11 of 15 passes for 123 yards with two touchdowns and a 136.9 rating and rushed for 59. yards and two touchdowns in 10 carries. Hopkins caught two passes for 32 yards, including a 20-yard touchdown in Arizona’s first practice of the game.

The best guys: The Bears have fallen to 3-3 this season against quarterbacks that were selected with the first overall pick in the draft. They beat the Bengals’ Joe Burrow (2020) once and Lions’ Jared Goff (2016) twice and lost to the Rams’ Matthew Stafford (2009), Baker Mayfield (2018) and Murray (2019) of the Browns.

Take the road : The away team have now won the last six meetings between the Bears and the Cardinals, with the clubs alternating wins and losses. The Bears have won games in 2006, 2012 and 2018 and lost in 2009, 2015 and 2021.

Statistically speaking: The Bears defense has now limited their last four opponents to 280, 299, 239 and 257 total yards after allowing 408 and 467 in their previous two outings in losses to the Buccaneers and 49ers… The Cardinals have improved to 7-0 on the road this season. and have won all seven games by at least 10 points, becoming the third team in NFL history to record seven double-digit road wins in a season… After committing four turnovers in their first five games, the Bears have recorded 15 turnovers in their last seven contests.

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