Bears Takeaways: Week 4

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /
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Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /

10.) The Bears defensive line was much better against the run

Granted the Lions mediocre o-line and third string running back wasn’t quite as challenging as facing Ezekiel Elliot and the best o-line in football, but the Bears defensive line looked like a different unit this week. After being gashed for 199 rushing yards in week three, the Bears defensive held the Lions running backs to just 49 rushing yards.

Nose tackle Will Sutton, who was a disaster against Dallas, was a force in the middle this week. Sutton had just three tackles, but consistently held his ground against double teams which clogged the middle and forced the Lions backs outside.

Defensive end Akiem Hicks was the best defensive linemen on the field Sunday. His three tackles and one sack don’t reflect the impact he had on the Lions running game. He got penetration into the backfield on multiple runs and made things difficult for the Lions blockers all day.

Mitch Unrein also had three tackles and was his usual consistent self at defensive end. He got a few pressures on Stafford and did the grunt work, taking on double teams and letting his teammates clean up the play.

Talented but injury-prone defensive end Cornelius Washington finally got some playing time and took advantage of it with a sack and a tackle. Washington did have an ill-timed offsides penalty on a 3rd & 2 play, but for the most part played an impressive game.

He’s not a defensive linemen, but inside linebacker John Timu might have made the play of the game with a perfectly timed blitz on 3rd & goal from the Lions one-yard line. Timu crashed through the line, took out the guy trying to block him, and blew up the play for a loss of two yards. The stop forced the Lions into kicking a field goal and preserved the Bears slim lead. Timu was just called up from the practice squad last week and still struggles in coverage, but his instincts make him one of the Bears best run stoppers.

The Bears face another suspect o-line next week verse the Colts. Another strong performance would prove this wasn’t just a fluke against a bad Lions team. Eddie Goldman should be back in a week or two which will make the rest of the line better and rookie Jonathan Bullard should be able to contribute more soon as well.

11.) Did Leonard Floyd play on Sunday?

After showing subtle signs of improvement the last few weeks, Floyd took a step back on Sunday despite playing against a bad offensive line. I haven’t watched the tape yet, but on first viewing I can only recall seeing Floyd near the ball a couple of times. His snaps were limited by an injury in the second half, but Floyd failed to make any impact plays while on the field. Disappointing.

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /

12.) ILB Nick Kwiatkoski looks like a keeper

The stats show that he only had two tackles, but Kwaitkoski was all over the field on Sunday. He seems to have a nose for the ball and brings a physicality to the ILB position that the Bears have been missing for years. He pancaked Cowboys guard La’el Collins last week (and injured him on the play) and had a few more big hits against the Lions.

The Bears are set at ILB for the near future with Jerrell Freeman and Danny Trevathan, but appear to have a solid reserve in Kwiatkoski who should only get better as he gets more experience. He was one of my favorite picks by the Bears this season and looks like he could be a building block for the future.