Whoa! The Bears Boast A Top-3 Defense, According to Pro Football Focus

The highest-graded player replacing the lowest-graded one could be what pushed the Chicago Bears into being the NFL’s third best defense according to Pro Football Focus.

PFF’s Sam Monson ranked each of the 32 defenses in the NFL and placed the Bears among the elite:

“No unit has improved like the Chicago Bears have on defense. It still has some issues, but it has been undermined by their offense more than most teams, not to mention injuries. They have some impressive grades in coverage across the entire back seven, while the defensive front has been very stout against the run, even if the pass-rush remains a concern.”

Vic Fangio’s defense receiving this type of praise is impressive considering what the group has gone through to earn it.

The Bears have three Week 1 starters currently on injured reserve with inside linebacker Jerrell Freeman, outside linebacker Willie Young, and safety Quintin Demps all out for the foreseeable future. Further, the team has played with four different starting inside linebacker pairs with Nick Kwiatkoski, Christian Jones, and John Timu each getting time with to Freeman or Danny Trevathan. Similarly, the Bears have been successfully mixing and matching at cornerback where Prince Amukamara, Marcus Cooper, Kyle Fuller, and Bryce Callahan have each spent time in a starting role.

A youth movement in the secondary has provided more positives than expected. One could make a case for replacing Demps with Adrian Amos, who is PFF’s sixth highest graded safety, as the most important move leading to the elevation of the Bears’ defense to new heights. Demps, who signed a three-year deal with the Bears as a free agent during the offseason, owns a 43.4 grade that ranks as the lowest among Bears defenders and the 11th worst among all NFL qualifying safeties.

One way to aid Mitch Trubisky’s development at quarterback is to surround him with playmakers. Sure, some pass-catchers would be nice. But getting the defense straightened out and performing at a high level will do wonders for the team, and in turn, the team’s rookie quarterback.

written by

Luis C. Medina, who you can find on Twitter at lcm1986, has been covering the Chicago Bears at Bleacher Nation since 2017. Since then, he has written about 3 head coaches, 5 play-callers, and 11 starting quarterbacks. Previously, Luis wrote about the Cubs and MLB at BN (2015-16) and worked in the Chicago Tribune sports department (2011-16). He also co-hosted a Cubs postgame show, Outside the Ivy, in 2019.

more bears news

TRADE! Bears Acquire Ryan Bates in Deal With Bills

I wasn't expecting a Chicago Bears trade on the first Monday of March, but here we are with the team announcing they've cut a deal with the Buffalo Bills with offensive lineman Ryan Bates. Here's the news straight from the...

Darnell Mooney Reportedly Turned Down an Extension Before the Season Started

Darnell Mooney reportedly turned down a contract extension offer from the team before the start of last season. According to a report by Brad Biggs from the Chicago Tribune, Mooney had a three-year deal worth over $10 million annually on...

Around the NFL: Mike Evans Staying in Tampa, Combine Winners and Losers, More

The wide receiver free agent class took a hit this morning with Mike Evans deciding to re-sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. We'll discuss that and the NFL Scouting Combine winners and losers in Indianapolis last week and how their...

Video of Caleb Williams Working With New Bears OC Shane Waldron in 2017 Emerged Over the Weekend

One of the most interesting and random videos popped up over the weekend as the folks at the QB Collective shared throwback footage of quarterback prospect Caleb Williams working out with Shane Waldron in 2017. What a tangled web football...

2024 NFL Mock Draft: NFL Combine Results & First Round Effects

With the NFL Combine officially in the books, there's no better time to put together another 2024 NFL Mock Draft. Now that most of this April's draft prospects have gone through their workouts, tests, measurables, and more, we'll see some...

Justin Fields Trade Watch: Steelers and Falcons Checked In, Bears Using History as a Guide

Chicago Bears General Manager Ryan Poles seemed to set a soft deadline for a potential trade of quarterback Justin Fields while discussing things at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. But we appear to be in a holding pattern while...

Bet $10 on a Justin Fields Player Prop and You’ll Get $200 in Bonus Bets at BetMGM!

It's just about time for the Bears and Packers to get going to open the 2023 season and I couldn't be more excited. I already outlined my favorite Bears and Packers prop bets for the Week 1 showdown, including my...

R.I.P. Mort, Evans Back to TB, Mooney Watch, Manziel Takes a Stand For Bush, and Other Bears Bullets

Randomly reading about how Matt Chapman's deal with the San Francisco Giants impacts the Chicago Cubs and their options at third base has me thinking about which free agent signing elsewhere will have a trickle-down impact on the Chicago Bears....

Must-Read: Behind the Scenes of the Bears’ Pursuit of Caleb Williams

If you were curious about what went on when Caleb Williams and the Chicago Bears linked up at the Combine last week, then just know that The MMQB's Albert Breer has you covered. The Monday after the NFL Scouting Combine...

Justin Fields Trade Watch: All Sorts of Conflicting Vibes

Tuesday marks one week from Chicago Bears GM Ryan Poles laying out an offseason timeline and expressing a desire to "do right" by quarterback Justin Fields, whose future is fuzzy. All signs point to the Bears moving on from Fields...

Latest News

TRADE! Bears Acquire Ryan Bates in Deal With Bills

I wasn't expecting a Chicago Bears trade on the first Monday of March, but here we are with the team announcing they've cut a deal with the Buffalo Bills with offensive lineman Ryan Bates. Here's the news straight from the...

Magic vs. Hornets Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats and Best Bets – Tuesday, March 5, 2024

The Orlando Magic (35-26) are favored (-8.5) to extend a three-game winning streak when they visit the Charlotte Hornets (15-46) at 7:00 PM ET on Tuesday, March 5, 2024 at Spectrum Center. The game airs on BSSE. The over/under is...

Pelicans vs. Raptors Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats and Best Bets – Tuesday, March 5, 2024

The Toronto Raptors (23-38) are 7.5-point underdogs against the New Orleans Pelicans (36-25) at Scotiabank Arena on Tuesday, March 5, 2024. The game tips at 7:30 PM ET on SN. The matchup's over/under is set at 229.Pelicans vs. Raptors OddsPelicans...

Heat vs. Pistons Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats and Best Bets – Tuesday, March 5, 2024

The Miami Heat (34-26) take the court against the Detroit Pistons (9-51) as heavy, 10.5-point favorites on Tuesday, March 5, 2024 at 7:30 PM ET on BSSU. The point total is 221.5 in the matchup.Heat vs. Pistons OddsHeat odds to...

Nuggets vs. Suns Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats and Best Bets – Tuesday, March 5, 2024

The Denver Nuggets (42-19) are favored (by 8.5 points) to extend a three-game home win streak when they host the Phoenix Suns (35-26) on Tuesday, March 5, 2024 at 10:00 PM ET. The point total is set at 223.5 for...

Rockets vs. Spurs Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats and Best Bets – Tuesday, March 5, 2024

The San Antonio Spurs (13-48) visit the Houston Rockets (26-34) after losing five straight road games. The Rockets are favored by 6 points in the matchup, which begins at 8:00 PM ET on Tuesday, March 5, 2024. The matchup has...

Pre-Gamin’: Chicago Bulls at Sacramento Kings (9:00 CT), Projected Lineups, How to Watch, More

Let's try to not spot them a 30-point lead this time around. https://twitter.com/chicagobulls/status/1764675060382437572?s=20 Game Info Chicago Bulls (28-32) at Sacramento Kings (34-25) – 9:00 p.m. CT on NBC Sports Chicago (TV) and 670 The Score (Radio) Projected Starters Chicago Bulls Coby White...

CUSA Basketball Predictions, Computer Picks and Best Bets | March 5

CUSA squads are on Tuesday's college basketball schedule in three games, including the Liberty Flames playing the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders, and here are some best bets for you to make.How to Bet on CUSA Games[lasso ref="draftkings-promo-1" id="299003" link_id="1463592"]Best CUSA...

Ivy League Basketball Predictions, Computer Picks and Best Bets | March 5

There is one game featuring an Ivy League teams on the Tuesday college basketball schedule, the Harvard Crimson versus the Dartmouth Big Green. Make sure you check out below for today's best bets!How to Bet on Ivy League Games[lasso ref="draftkings-promo-1"...

ACC Basketball Predictions, Computer Picks and Best Bets | March 5

The Tuesday college basketball slate includes five games featuring an ACC team in action. Among those contests is the Virginia Tech Hokies taking on the Louisville Cardinals. Here are our recomendations for the best bets on action throughout the conference.How...

more bears news