After the Khalil Mack trade most knew the Chicago Bears defense would be on another level in 2018. Still, seeing them dominate both the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks at times makes you wonder what this unit can become.
Through two games, here is where the Bears defense ranks.
-Leads the league in sacks (10).
-9th in total yard allowed (646).
-8th in yards allowed per game (323).
-4th in rushing yards per game (71.5).
Those numbers could be even better after the next few weeks. Something special is going on with Vic Fangio’s defense. He is building a unit that could be good for a long, long time. It was hard to find negatives after watching the Seahawks tape.
Here, my goal is to identify things that people may not have seen at home or while watching the game live. Let’s get into the juggernaut that was the Bears defense against the Seattle Seahawks on Monday Night Football.
Roquan Smith starting
After the collapse in Green Bay, Bears fans like myself called for the team to start rookie LB Roquan Smith. While Nick Kwiatkowski is a decent player, but he is not as fast or athletic as Smith. It makes a huge difference when it comes to hitting a gap to stuff an RB, which Smith did more than once on Monday night.
Smith makes the read and wastes no time shooting the gap, then making the tackle. The Bears were missing that kind of ability against the Packers. On the play below, Smith sheds a block and stuffs Chris Carson. Check it out in slow motion.
Danny Trevathan also benefited from Smith’s increase in snap count. That was obvious after he was named defensive player of the week on Tuesday. Trevathan recorded two sacks, two quarterback hurries, eight tackles and a forced fumble vs. the Seahawks.
Dominant defensive line
Having a good defensive line makes the rest of the defense look good, especially the secondary, which has been average, at best, so far in 2018. Mack, Goldman, and Lynch created consistent pressure on Russell Wilson.
Lynch’s performance was most impressive, considering he missed all of training camp and the preseason with an injury. People forget that he is just 25-years-old. Having Mack, Floyd, and now Lynch rotating a bit makes the Bears D-line even better.
The Bears lead the NFL in sacks for a reason. It’s amazing to say that now after thinking that would be one of the Bears biggest weaknesses before the start of the season. Then Jon Gruden decided to trade the best pass rusher in the league.
Thanks again, Jon.
Kyle Fuller slow start
Cornerback Kyle Fuller got paid this past offseason and rightfully so. He was great in 2017. Sure, he had only two interceptions, but that number should have been around eight if hadn’t dropped the ball on many occasions.
We all know what happened in week one. Again, Fuller dropped the ball in one of the biggest games the Bears have had in years. In week two, Fuller was again average. He was just outworked by Tyler Lockett in the back of the end zone.
Fuller has already let up two passing touchdowns this season. There is no doubt he needs to pick up his play. With that being said, sometimes in the NFL, you have to get a little lucky. Take a look at the play below.
Playing off the ball because of the down and distance, Fuller makes a great read but slips a little bit. He was still in fairly good position to make a play if Wilson’s throw would have been right to the receiver or inaccurate.
Yes, Fuller has to be better, especially on deep throws. However, the tape shows he’s still doing a lot right. The same things that earned him a contract extension.
-Has anyone seen Leonard Floyd? Me either. Obviously, the club on his hand his having a negative effect on his game. That club may be coming off for the team’s game against the Cardinals though. I expect at least a sack out of Floyd Sunday afternoon if that happens.
-I’m not sold on Eddie Jackson. He gambled and lost big time on the 75-yard touchdown Randall Cobb scored in week one. He was so-so against the Seahawks on Monday night. I may be expecting more because of the big plays he made last season, but I’m interested to see what he does going forward.
Follow Nick on Twitter–Featured Photo Credit: Yahoo Sports
Want to stay in the loop? Subscribe to Exclusive The Loop Sports content via Patreon.