Home » Sports, Sports and Health » Bears’ defense needs to wake up
Bears’ defense needs to wake up
Chicago Bears cornerback Charles Tillman didn’t grace us with his famous “peanut punch” until the team’s Oct. 6 loss to the New Orleans Saints. Through the first five games, defensive end Julius Peppers had 8 tackles and 1 sack. That type of play is not enough when it’s coming from the team’s “stars.”
Even though the Bears are plus-seven in turnover ratio, they haven’t played up to par, which is reflected in their record thus far: 4–2. The defense has given up 28 points and nearly 400 yards per game in the first five weeks, earning them the 26th and 20th ranking in those categories, respectively.
During the first six weeks of the NFL season, the Chicago Bears’ defense and offense have switched roles. Historically, the Bears’ defense has been the strength of the team, while the offense has struggled to keep up. However, this season Chicago is one of the worst at keeping opposing teams from scoring, while its offense is ranked fifth in the league, as of week 5.
For the Bears to be legitimate Super Bowl contenders, Head Coach Marc Trestman needs his defensive star players to remember what disciplined football is.
Prior to their Oct. 10 game against the New York Giants, the Bears lost two games in a row after starting the season 3–0. The Bears have not kept an opponent below 21 points all season and during games where quarterback Jay Cutler and the offense are struggling to move the ball downfield, the defense or lack thereof can be crucial.
During the two losses against the Saints and Detroit Lions, the Bears’ defense allowed their opponents to build significant leads and keep the Bears’ offensive unit on the sidelines. When the team was down by multiple scores late in the games, playing catch up proved too daunting a task for the Bears’ offense.
Despite Cutler’s valiant efforts to bring his team back during those losses, plenty of critics blame the Bears’ offense for the losses. The fact is, the offense is the reason the Bears are not a 2-win team. The Bears score 28.7 points per game, ranking fifth in the NFL.
If you aren’t convinced by statistics, let’s look into two crucial drives that cost the Bears the Saints game.
Toward the end of the first half, the Bears found some momentum with their first score of the game, but with little time remaining, Saints quarterback Drew Brees easily drove down the field and gave his team a 20–7 lead.
The Bears’ offense almost bailed the defense out late in the second half, but a few lapses in judgment during the Saints’ final offensive drive helped New Orleans seal the victory. Bears linebacker Lance Briggs made the biggest mistake. On a Saints fourth down, he jumped offsides, which gave the Saints a new set of downs and the win.
Luckily for the Bears’ defense, there are still 11 weeks left in the regular season and they have extra days to rest before facing the Washington Redskins Oct. 20. Sure, the Bears intercepted Giants quarterback Eli Manning three times Oct. 10, but intercepting the league leader in interceptions isn’t anything to boast about.