With Danny Trevathan out for the past two weeks, Christian Jones has taken on a bigger role. As a result, the defense has struggled.
This is not to say that Christian Jones is 100% to blame and that the last two losses are a direct correlation to him. However, over the past two weeks, the Bears defense doesn’t seem to have the same growl it had going into the bye. The only real change has been losing Danny Trevathan.
The issue has not been Nick Kwiatkowski. He has been fine. It is becoming clear that the issue is Jones. Yes, Jones has been a starter, so losing Trevathan should not have changed his play on the field. However, you have to consider the role change. Trevathan was the one calling plays, and getting his team in line. That is on Jones now. He has to recognize what the offense is doing and be the first to react.
He has clearly been slower than Trevathan in this aspect, and it set the whole defense back a touch. On top of that, it has set his playback on what had been a promising little stretch when he was playing beside Trevathan.
Matthew Stafford was 5-6 for 41 yards and a touchdown targeting Jones. The touchdown allowed is almost 100% his fault.
You can see that before the play that players are pointing, pushing and ,moving into place. They are just figuring out what they are supposed to do, let along worry about what the Lions were doing. This is on Jones. Jones is doing so much conducting that when the ball is snapped, he has no spatial awareness around him, and essentially blindsides himself into an easy pick that is not even justified to be called a penalty as Jones ran into it. This sets up an easy touchdown to the player he was supposed to be defending. The confusion to start, running into the receiver, and allowing the defender free are all on him.
If Trevathan is back next week, it has to and will be Jones, not Kwiatkowski heading to the bench. If Trevathan is not back, the team has to give Kwiatkowski play calling opportunities. Jones is better as the second linebacker who can just do his job, and come in with a timely blitz. Putting too much on his plate, rather than seeing what they have in the young linebacker under pressure is wasting time. Hopefully, the Bears notice this and make the change.