Chicago Bears: 9 Observations heading into the toughest stretch of the schedule
Intimidation will not work on the Chicago Bears
8. The Panthers defense tried to intimidate the Bears
In the Chicago Bears game against Carolina, the Panthers defenders tried pretty hard to intimidate the Bears. Presumably, there was a lot of hard hitting going on in the trenches. What I saw was the Panthers barking at the Bears throughout the game.
It is possible that Matt Ruhle and his coaches are teaching their players to be intimidators. If this tactic is a part of their game plan it seems to be working and would explain in part why they are winning more games than anyone anticipated. Fortunately, many of the Bears weren’t buying it.
It was amusing to watch Jimmy Graham deal with this. He would look down over smaller defenders, obviously unimpressed with their attempts to throw him off his game with their trash talk. There is potentially a deep irony here as I saw no evidence the Bears skill position players felt intimidated. However, the big boys of the offensive line had their worst game of the season.
This happened after a week ago they played well enough to beat the Bucs with Tom Brady. This is possible evidence that some of them were intimidated by the Panthers. For example, Leno and Rashaad Coward on the Bears left side of the offensive line were swinging gates the whole game for Panther pass rushers. I cannot say for sure the offensinve line was intimidated by the Panthers but the circumstantial evidence is strong enough to consider this possibility.
9. Khalil Mack is healthy and the Bears defense is looking elite once again
It is no coincidence that the Bears defense is clicking big time and Khalil Mack is also back to being healthy. This would be the number one factor in the Bears defense peaking at game six of the season.
Another important factor is that the rest of the Bears defense appears to have gotten back into game shape, including Danny Trevathan. On top of this, Robert Quinn, the Bears most expensive free agent acquisition this offseason, is looking like he has overcome his own injury and conditioning issues. Overcoming these problems is probably what kept Quinn from showing his true worth to the team.
Now if only the refs would start calling most of the holds on Mack instead of the precious few they typically call when Mack is being held.