Chicago Bears run defense could find its footing vs. Washington

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

The Chicago Bears’ biggest issue this season has been their run defense. Specifically, their run defense on the edges is awful. It had been an issue all season, but the Minnesota Vikings went out of their way to exploit it, running 22 of their 27 rushing attempts outside the tackles.

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This brought their season total to 516 yards on 91 rushes outside and 275 yards on 70 rushes inside. While this has been an issue, it has to be fair to add that Aaron Jones, Saquon Barkley, Elijah Mitchell, and Dalvin Cook are some of the best outside runners in the NFL.

When they faced off with Dameon Pierce, they did not shut him down, but they did hold him in check compared to the others. When you look at the Washington rushing attack, Antonio Gibson, and JD McKissic are not quite as scary as those other runners, and Brian Robinson is being eased back into the lineup.

So far this season the Commanders have run the ball outside the tackles 38 times for 146 yards. Meanwhile, they have pounded it between the tackles 59 times for 224 yards.

So, on the season the Chicago Bears opponents have run outside the tackles on 56.5% of their rushing attempts, and they have picked up 5.7 yards per attempt. Washington has run outside the tackles 39.2% of the time and they have only picked up 3.8 yards per attempt.

Even the Houston Texans run the ball outside more and do it more effectively than the Washington Commanders. So, when it comes to a rushing attack that will dominate the Chicago Bears, there may not be a better matchup on the schedule than Washington.

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After seeing a host of good running backs in consecutive weeks, it has to be welcome to see a team that will not test them where they are the worst. On the flip side, if the Chicago Bears do end up struggling this game, and we see that Washington goes away from their season norms to run the ball outside, we will know that this is an issue that will be going on every single week.