Chicago Bears defense shows identity on fourth down stop

CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 22: Eddie Goldman
CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 22: Eddie Goldman /
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Lost in the Chicago Bears two defensive scores in Week 7 was a huge second half fourth down stuff

The Chicago Bears defense won their Week 7 matchup with the Carolina Panthers. The credit will go to that unit. All of the highlights are going to be the Eddie Jackson returns for touchdowns, and that is going to be what every Bears fans remember about this game moving forward. However, while Jackson took advantage of the opportunity, those plays came from a consistent domination that the Bears had over the course of the game.

The Panthers were able to move the ball until they got to around midfield. Then, it became a struggle. Both of the Bears touchdown plays came from inside Bears territory and the Bears forced another huge turnover in that end to start the second half as well.

Down 17-3 with 9 minutes left in the third quarter, the Panthers had first and ten at the Bears 33 yard line. It was their first offensive drive of the half, and points were looking like a lock. After getting five yards on the first two downs, Cam Newton decides to check down on third and five, thanks, Cam.

This set up a fourth and two and a tough decision for head coach Ron Rivera. He had to assume that given how much the offense had struggled and with now under seven minutes to play in third, this drive had to end in a touchdown. The Panthers decided to go for it.

What makes this an interesting call is that you are crediting their defense, and assuming you cannot score enough, but at the same time, you are testing that defense in a bad matchup. The Panthers offensive line was banged up, and the

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Bears had driven that check down mentality into Newton’s head. On a fourth and two that could have easily changed the momentum of the game, the Bears got a stop.

Leonard Floyd got upfield and Adrian Amos filled the gap to Newton’s left.

Mitch Unrein gets a huge burst to the right. Then, up the middle, there is old reliable Eddie Goldman, who sheds a block and stuffs the run right where it started.

This fourth down stuff will be forgotten, but it was a momentum stopping play that really took away any thought that the Panthers could make a run at this game. It was the utter domination that the opposition could not get one year in a moment of need that resonates for both sides. The Bears won this battle and should have instilled confidence of stopping any offense for any given yard.