Not much has changed with the Chicago Bears front seven between 2018 and 2020. However, with the addition of Robert Quinn over Leonard Floyd, is the front seven now the best in football?
When we take a look at the Chicago Bears defense, no one can question the amount of talent flowing on that side of the ball. The team struggled to find a secondary sack specialist behind Khalil Mack in 2019. The year before it was Akiem Hicks leading the charge, however, his 2019 season was plagued with injuries. Many believed Leonard Floyd would take a leap forward last season, but Floyd continued to be a solid linebacker in everything but getting to the quarterback.
Fast-forward to 2020. The Bears made a decision to cut bait with Leonard Floyd. This was a secondary move though after Ryan Pace brought in Robert Quinn to replace him. Quinn had 11.5 sacks in 2019 and that total is 62 percent of what Floyd has accomplished in his four-year career. Not a good look or stat for Floyd.
When we look at the defensive front, it starts in the middle with Eddie Goldman. Goldman is better than what the stat sheets show. He eats up space and blockers. This frees up guys like Akiem Hicks. When healthy, Hicks has become one of the premier pass rushers in the NFL. On the opposite side, the team has a combination of Bilal Nichols and Roy Robertson-Harris. The two combined for six sacks in 2018 and we could see that happen again in 2020.
Now onto the linebackers. Do I have to say anything about Khalil Mack — other than he is one of the best pass rushers to ever play the game? On the other side is Quinn. Between Quinn and Mack, teams will not be able to double and triple-team either of the outside linebackers. What is crazy though is the inside linebackers on this team are just as good.
Danny Trevathan when healthy is a tackling machine. The Chicago Bears will need to hope that he can stay healthy. If he does, watch out. Then you have Roquan Smith. Once Smith was able to recover from his personal reason last year, he turned back into the same player we remember from his rookie season in 2018. Smith averages nearly six solo tackles per game and 3.5 sacks per season. Having these two in the middle makes this defense very dangerous.
Some notable mentions on competing teams with solid front sevens include the Eagles, Rams (who now have Leonard Floyd) and maybe the Ravens with new additions of Derek Wolfe and Calais Campbell. The Saints too deserve to be in the mention. I may be biased here, but I just cannot picture a better defensive front in the NFL heading into 2020 than the Chicago Bears. We all know they’ll need it with the offensive struggles the team faces. Hopefully, it is enough.