Jordan Howard. That’s not a name Bears fans don’t bring up much anymore outside of trade rumors. It’s all about Tarik Cohen anymore. Tarik’s an explosive back and a fantastic football player, but he’s not as good of a running back as Jordan Howard.
Fans seem to forget the only redeemable part of the team two years ago and one of the only ones last year. Howard started out his career 2nd in the league in rushing yards in only 15 games. Last year Howard finished 5th in rushing yards. This year, he only has 112 carries for 392 yards (compared to 1313 in 2016 and 1122 in 2017). Howard is currently 3rd in the NFL in rushing yards since 2016 (only behind Ezekiel Elliott and Todd Gurley). Howard’s yardage went down slightly last season after Cohen started taking his carries, but he still had a phenomenal season. His yardage has dipped massively this year as Tarik Cohen has all but become the number one guy for Coach Nagy.
Jordan Howard has two major flaws: his lack of speed and his need to heat up before he can really take over a football game. Howard needs to get consistent carries if this team wants him to do all he can. Only getting 3 carries in a quarter at the beginning of the game then another 2 late in the game isn’t gonna cut it. Howard needs to be getting 20+ carries a game. Howard’s two best game this year were against Green Bay and New York. He had over 80 yards on 15 and 20 carries in those two games. His worst game came against Tampa Bay, where he had 11 carries for 25 yards. Inconsistent carries is what’s making Howard not look the same. Once he starts to get the ball in his hands more, everyone will see why he’s needed.
Howard’s speed may hold him back, but his brute strength and ability to fight for yards makes up for that. Howard is your classic between the tackles power back. You run him right up the gut, let him find his hole, and fight for yards if needed. Howard is MUCH better at this than Tarik Cohen. There are countless plays where Cohen has sat and danced in the backfield because he was too slow to finding his hole and it closed before he got to it. Howard is excellent at finding the open hole and getting to it ASAP. Sure, once he’s in open field he isn’t gonna torch anyone like Cohen would. But unlike Cohen, Howard consistently gets positive yardage and doesn’t dance like Cohen.
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