The defense is performing much better
In addition to the offensive woes the Chicago Bears were having, their defensive struggles were even more struggling. Fans are used to seeing a rough and tough Bears defense. They have not seen that from Chicago's defense for quite some time.
Things are starting to change, however. The defense is starting to look a lot better. Head coach Matt Eberflus took over play-calling for the defense and the unit has progressively improved.
Part of holding the Raiders' offense was third-down conversions. The Bears entered the game with the worst third-down conversion percentage allowed at 50.6 percent but it has gotten better.
Against the Raiders, the Bears allowed two conversions on nine attempts for 22 percent. That was a continuation of what they did last week against the Minnesota Vikings. In that game, it was 2/13, or 15.4 percent. That is a percentage of 18.1 in the past two games. Before the last two games, their percentage was 57.4 percent. Today it stands at 47.8 percent. They still rank 31st, but their percentage took a big drop.
The defense has also improved greatly against the run. Opponents have been able to gash the defense with their rushing attack. That is changing. As mentioned before, the Raiders had just 39 rushing yards. Last week, they allowed 46 yards. Going back to the Commanders game, they allowed 29 yards.
That means that the defense has given up 114 rushing yards on 46 carries in the past three games. That is an average of 2.5 yards per carry. That is the Chicago Bears defense that people are used to seeing.
The only area the defense has not improved is the pass rush. While they had five sacks against the Commanders, they only had two against the Vikings and just one against the Raiders. As the defense continues to improve, though, we should see those sack numbers increase. The other option, of course, is improving the pass rush through the draft, free agency, or a combination of both.
It is great to see the Bears defense take such a big step in development. Let's see if that improvement continues throughout the season.