The Bears had a top ten defense coming into the season. Now, though, they have their sights set on something so much more.
The one weakness to that defense was a consistent pass rush. Then, Bears’ G.M. Ryan Pace went out and set the NFL world abuzz, making a blockbuster trade that sent Khalil Mack to Chicago. Now, three games through this young NFL season and the Bears defense is showing that they have the ability to be the NFL’s best.
Through those three games, the Bears lead the NFL in sacks with 14, all while blitzing the least out of any team in the NFL. The Bears have the second best run defense in the NFL at 65 yards per game, while sitting 12th in the league in passing yards allowed per game. They’ve also created 8 turnovers (4th in the NFL) and are holding teams to 18 points per game.
With an offense that continues to struggle, Chicago Bears’ fans are used to watching this type of defensive effort. From the ’85 Bears to the Lovie Smith era, this subpar quarterback play seems all too familiar. With the superstar talent of Khalil Mack taking this defense to new heights, though, this somehow feels different. Bears’ head coach Matt Nagy calls his defense “special.” Personally, I think they can be the NFL’s best by seasons end.
Speaking of Khalil Mack, he has outproduced the entire Raiders defense, racking up four sacks, three forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, and a pick-six. He also has set up his teammates for countless other sacks due to the attention he draws. Nine different Bears have contributed to the sack totals this season. In short, Mack’s contribution to the defense has been more than anyone could have hope for.
Granted, the last two games were against struggling opponents (Seattle and Arizona respectfully). The Bears may not have been fully tested, as they undoubtedly will be later on in the year. However, in the first half against the Packers and minus the voodoo magic of Aaron Rodgers, they have shown they can stop an elite-level offense and will have to show it again this coming week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
While we are only three weeks through the season, the Bears’ defense is the bright spot. With plenty of football left to play, we get to sit back and see what they have to offer the rest of the season. If the early part of the season is any indication, it will be fun to watch unfold.