Chicago Bears defense needs to show improvement in this area

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The Chicago Bears' defense is expected to be strong again in 2024. After starting off rocky the defense improved dramatically in 2023. That can be a part of the coaching starting to figure out the players as well as a lot of free agents and draft picks starting to gel on the field. 

The Chicago Bears get better at defending passes to running backs

Now that group did not change much and mostly got better we should see a strong unit as they get more comfortable. If there is one area that could show improvement, it will be how they defend running backs. 

The Bears allowed 107 catches for 1003 yards to running backs last season. That is the second most catches and most yards allowed to backs. The next closest in yards allowed was 772. This was a massive issue. 

Again, some of this can be explained. Tremaine Edmunds and TJ Edwards were both in a new system and both got challenged immediately. Edmunds had a few injuries. Jaquan Brisker had multiple injuries last year as well, and that did not help.

Lastly, they had to face some big names such as Aaron Jones, Alvin Kamara, and Austin Ekeler. Still, they struggled against seemingly anyone. It is fair that Matt Eberflus runs a defense that prevents the big play, and thus allows the check down to running back. Still, there is an issue when you are allowing over two more yards per reception than the next worst team.

Edmunds and Edwards finished the season strong and they somehow made the final product look a little bit better than it was. Still, they need these two, as well as Brisker to play much better in 2024. The addition of Kevin Byard should not hurt because is a much more sound tackler than Eddie Jackson. 

If this continues to be an issue, any pass rush can be negated. If the attacking linebackers are shutting down the passes to running backs, the Bears have something on defense.