Chicago Bears defensive line leads resurgence

GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 28: Akiem Hicks /

The Chicago Bears defensive resurgence starts with their defensive line

Over the past few weeks, the Chicago Bears defense has raised reason for optimism. The surprise rejuvenations of Kyle Fuller and Adrian Amos have been major impacts, but this defense is formed around its stud interior defensive line.

This is a unit led by Akiem Hicks and Eddie Goldman, one of the best interior one-two punches in the NFL. Hicks is a penetrator who can push lineman upfield and make plays in the backfield. Goldman is the plodder who holds up the middle and forces running backs to chose outside running lanes. The duo is a perfect fit and one that is thriving right now for the Bears defense. It could easily be argued that both players are playing at the best level of their careers right now.

These two are showing up on the stat sheet, too. Of the two interior defensive linemen who play the majority of the snaps on their defense across the league, they stack up with the best of them. In terms of sacks, Goldman and Hicks rank second, behind only Calais Campbell and Malik Jackson of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Based on tackles for loss, they are tied with Danny Shelton and Jamie Meder on the Browns, Fletcher Cox and Timmy Jernigan in Philadelphia, Cam Jordan and Sheldon Rankins in New Orleans, and Geno Atkins and Chris Smith of the Bengals for third in amongst interior duos. They trail just Aaron Donald and Michael Brockers of the Rams and Gerald McCoy and Clinton McDonald in Tampa Bay.

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Calais, Campbell, Fletcher Cox, Cam Jordan, Geno Atkins, Aaron Donald and Gerald McCoy. These are the elite defensive lineman in the NFL today. The duo of the Chicago Bears is right up there with these players. Eddie Goldman is finally healthy and Hicks and his playing the best ball of his career. It is the main reason that the Bears defense is now thriving and is the reason that it could be thriving for time to come.