The Chicago Bears continue their struggles this season. They suffered another frustrating loss in Week 6. Their offensive woes returned, and now starting quarterback Justin Fields might not play this week against the Las Vegas Raiders. Rookie Tyson Bagent, who had two turnovers in five drives, would be up to start if Fields cannot.
There was some good news in last week's game, however. The defense had its best game in the past 23 games. There was some weariness in wondering what was going to happen when the high-powered Vikings offense took on the struggling Bears defense. Minnesota quarterback Kirk Cousins led the league in touchdown passes and Chicago's secondary suffered a lot of injuries.
Instead of watching Cousins and the Vikings pound the Bears defense, Chicago dominated the game. In fact, the Chicago Bears defense was the best thing about the game on either side. Sure, the Vikings defense had a good game as well, but that was mainly due to Chicago's ineptness on offense. The Bears had more total yards, more first downs, and converted on third down at a much higher rate.
The Vikings offense came into the game averaging 362.4 yards per game, 281.6 of them through the air. On the other hand, the Chicago Bears' defense gave up 384.2 yards of offense and 286 of them in the air. It seemed like a horrible matchup.
Someone failed to let the defense know that, though. The Bears held the Vikings to 220 yards of offense. Of those, 174 were in the air. Though the Bears had two sacks, the defense harassed Cousins, forcing him into throwing an interception. He also threw the ball in a lateral that was ruled a fumble that was recovered by the Bears but the officials reversed it.
The Bears' defense held the Vikings to no touchdowns for most of the first half. It wasn't until late in the second quarter after a Fields interception that the Vikings took advantage of and scored a touchdown with 12 seconds left in the half.
The defense was even stiffer in the second half. They held Minnesota scoreless for the entire half. The only chance of scoring was a missed field goal attempt at the end of the third quarter.
After a slow start and dealing with injuries, the Chicago Bears defense is started to get it together.
It was a surprising outcome by a struggling Bears defense. The defense has been a mess, with injuries taking a toll. Additionally, defensive coordinator Alan Williams was unable to make proper adjustments. Furthermore, Williams ultimately had to resign for non-football related issues.
Head coach Matt Eberflus took over the defense following Williams' resignation. He was the defensive coordinator for the Indianapolis Colts so he had that experience to use. Additionally, Williams was his assistant there and he basically ran Eberflus' defense in Chicago.
Williams missed the Week 2 game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The defense gave up 27 points and 437 yards. Then Williams resigned the next week. It was a Wednesday and the Bears were left with trying to prepare to take on the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs.
That went as bad as predicted. The Bears gave up 41 points (34 in the first half) and 456 yards. It was a disaster. Following that performance, the defense gave up 31 points and 311 yards to a Denver Broncos offense that struggled as much, if not more, than the Bears.
Many wondered what would happen going forward. With the offense struggling as well, finding the first win
While the defense gave up 388 yards to the Washington Commanders, it gave up just three points in the first half and 20 for the game. Additionally, the Bears were able to pressure the quarterback and force some turnovers.
Then came the Minnesota game last week and the defense looked like the Monsters of the Midway we are used to seeing. In the first four games, the defense gave up 34.2 points per game. In the past two games, however, they gave up 39 points combined. Eberflus has taken a beating so far, and deservedly so. However, he needs to be commended for how he is turning the defense around.
Now the team announced that it hired Phil Snow as the Senior Defensive Analyst. He will help the staff to scout the upcoming opponents. Snow has experience as the Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator. It will be good for Eberflus to have more info given by a veteran coach. It could only be good for him considering how much he has on his plate and how he needs to find a way to turn things around and save his job.
We will see if the Chicago Bears defense continues to improve as the season progresses. If it does, it takes a huge headache away. Eberflus and his staff can then try to help make the offense more consistent. That is the bigger headache at the moment.