This decision is officially costing the Chicago Bears

Chicago Bears - Credit: Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Bears - Credit: Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports /

When the Chicago Bears decided to start Al-Quadin Muhammad over Trevis Gipson it was not surprising. Muhammad came from the Indianapolis Colts, and the coaches knew that he would do things the right way. With that familiarity angle, it was hard for Gipson to win over the coaches as a fresh face.

Still, through three weeks it was clear that Gipson was performing more. When the team took on the New York Giants, it meant a rookie in Evan Neal on the right side.

Neal has been struggling massively, and he even left this game with an injury. That led to Devery Hamilton taking snaps, and most fans just thought ‘who?’

Despite that, the Chicago Bears were not able to record a single pressure against the Giants’ right tackle. Beyond that, the Giants ran 10 times off the right tackle and picked up 49 yards.

To be fair, this week saw a close split between the two, as AQM had 35 snaps, and Gipson had 28. Gipson also rushed the passer 13 times to 10 for AQM, but that does mean that AQM was out there much more often on run downs.

So far this season Muhammad has 88 run defense snaps and has four run stops with three missed tackles. Meanwhile, Gipson has 42 run defense snaps with five stops and not a single missed tackle.

AQM has 62 pass rush snaps with seven pressures, while Gipson has 56 snaps and has recorded 10 pressures.

PFF gives AQM a better run defense grade than Gipson even though Gipson has more stops and fewer missed tackles on about half of the snaps. So, it appears the Chicago Bears agree with this sentiment, as they are getting closer to each other on the pass rush side.

It helps that the Bears did give Gipson the extra snaps this week, knowing that he could take advantage of the right tackle in pass protection more often. Still, that change is not enough. Neither AQM nor Gipson put enough pressure on a rookie who is struggling as well as his backup.

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At the very least, they should switch from 60/40 in favor of Muhammad to 60/40 in favor of Gipson. What is the worst that can happen, their run defense is already awful, and they will not find much easier matchups to get pressure than their last game.