It had been a while since the Chicago Bears defense delivered a decisive victory in primetime in front of a national audience. But when push came to shove on Sunday night, the Bears landed one jarring blow after another against the Los Angeles Rams.
Seriously, let’s give it up for the “D” one more time
Four interceptions, three sacks, a forced fumble, and a safety looks great on the stat line, but doesn’t even come close to scratching the surface of the impact the Bears defense had on Sunday’s game.
Bears defenders added 5 tackles-for-loss, which kept star running back Todd Gurley from ever getting his act into gear and forcing long-yardage tries on second and third down. They also tacked on 10 pass breakups, all while not committing a single defensive pass interference or illegal contact penalty. Chicago’s high-octane pass-rush also generated 8 quarterback hits, doing so while avoiding a dreaded roughing the passer penalty. So not only did the Bears defense play a great game, they did so cleanly. That’s hard to do in this modern NFL.
Not only was it a defensive performance that took you to a happy place and warmed your soul as a Bears fan, it was one that really jumped out to on-lookers. Rich Hammond of the Orange County Register wrote the Bears defense sent the Rams offense to a dark place that was reminiscent of the 2016 team that struggled mightily in Jeff Fisher’s final season. NFL.com writer Jerry Bregman said the Rams’ “terrible, horrible, no good, very bad night” unearthed questions about why one of the league’s premiere offenses struggled under the bright lights of primetime. ESPN.com’s Jeff Dickerson declares making the playoffs isn’t good enough and that expectations are higher now that the Bears have a championship-caliber defense. And as we have said in this space before, good isn’t enough if better is expected.
The bar has been raised after a primetime win. So after not backing down against the high-flying Rams, the Bears should take on their next challenge with no reservations. It doesn’t get more simple than this: Beat the Green Bay Packers at home, clinch the division title, and start planning your postseason attack. Soon, there will be bigger fish to fry.