Can the defense make some kind of stand?
We have seen how the Chicago Bears offense flipped the switch and things started clicking. Now we need to see if the defense can help the offense. The Bears cannot continually depend on trying to win high-scoring battles. Seeing 68 points and 922 yards by the offense is great, but that is not something that is sustainable.
Last week, the defense did do a good job of putting pressure on Washington quarterback Sam Howell. Chicago recorded five sacks and some knockdowns and continual pressure. The Bears came into the game with just two sacks so recording five was a good sign.
Now, can the defense keep it up? The Vikings have given up 13 sacks, ranking 17th in the league. The line is not too good but not too bad. The Bears' pass rush needs to get to Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins. Cousins ranks second in the league in passing yards with 1,498. He leads the league in passing touchdowns with 13.
Cousins and the Vikings offense took a hit in last week's game. All-pro wide receiver Justin Jefferson suffered a hamstring strain. As a result, Minnesota had to place him on injured reserve. That means he will miss at least four games, starting this week. Jefferson has been a Chicago Bears killer. In six career games against Chicago, he has 41 catches for 585 yards and 2 touchdowns. He caught 73.2 percent of his targets.
Not having Jefferson is a big relief for the Bears. Of course, he was a big part of the offense. His 571 yards account for 38 percent of Minnesota's total. His 53 targets are 27 percent while his 36 catches are 26 percent. That is a huge chunk of offense missing for the Vikings.
Without having Jefferson to be his security blanket the Bears have a chance to make his day miserable. If they get to him and pressure him, he could give the defense a chance at turnovers. It worked for the Bears last week. Their pressure resulted in two turnovers. Hopefully, that happens again.