While many chose to point out the negatives in a loss the Bears should have won I’m going to focus on a positive. The ascension of Tarik Cohen. It appears Matt Nagy has decided who his go to Running Back is even though he is using him unconventionally. While Jordan Howard may be getting the bulk of the carries Nagy calls Cohen’s number when a big play is needed and the overwhelming amount of the time he comes through as he did Sunday in East Rutherford New Jersey.
His performance versus the Giants was just the most recent example of what he’s done all season long. He accumulated 186 total yards from scrimmage and that’s not even counting his punt returns which put him well over 200 yards on the afternoon.
Cohen is more of a threat on pass routes than he is as a runner as the numbers suggest. On the season he has one more pass target (77) than he has rushing attempts (74) and in the Giant game nothing changed. Cohen had 12 receptions out of 14 targets and just 8 carries. His success rate is very high too. With 59 receptions out of 77 targets with only 2 drops it’s a pretty sure bet that if you throw it to him it will get caught. 78.7% of the time to be exact with a 2.7% drop rate. He’s also very productive once he catches it. Has has accumulated 659 yards out of those 59 receptions for just under 11.2 yards per grab and 4 touchdowns.
While he does break some big runs off you can see his vision isn’t the best as was on display in the 2nd quarter in the Giants game. On the replay you can see a huge hole open up right in front of him as he gets the handoff moving to the right. All he had to do was plant and cut back in the A gap and he would’ve gotten to the 2nd level where he may have been able to make a huge gain. Instead he keeps moving right, saw nothing there, cuts back to his left running all the way to the sideline for a 4 yard gain. He is productive in spite of his sometimes vision issues. He has 315 yards for a 4.1 yard average and two touchdowns with 6 runs of over 15 yards. Once he gains more experience in the league his production figures to spike on his runs too.
With his exposure on prime time this season and yet another big stage for him to perform on this Sunday it is inevitable that Cohen will be a big star in the NFL and a very popular player. He already is locally but the boon in popularity figures to grow nationally. Especially considering his impact in fantasy football. According to playerprofiler.com Cohen is at 16.0 fantasy points per game which ranks him 11th among running backs. Not bad for a player who doesn’t get as many snaps as most if not all ahead of him. Time for the NFL.com gift shop to stock up on Tarik Cohen gear. Especially if he has another big performance this Sunday night versus the Rams.