The Chicago Bears defense needs to pressure the quarterback
Since the beginning of the season, the Bears' defense has improved immensely, thanks in large part to Matt Eberflus's calling plays and the addition of Montez Sweat at the trade deadline. Specifically, the team's pass rush has come alive in recent weeks, and it could take another step against the Browns.
After logging only 13 sacks over their first 10 games, the Bears have added eight over three of their last three games, a mark that is tied for the 14th-best across the league. The defense has been playing very well recently, and getting after the quarterback consistently will only help them make more plays.
Outside of Flacco's level of athleticism, the Browns present a great opportunity for the Bears' defense to generate sacks due to a string of unfortunate injuries across the offensive line. The Browns will be without center Ethan Pocic against the Bears and have their top three opening-day offensive tackles all on injured reserve. The Browns still have two dominant interior linemen Joel Bitonio and Wyatt Teller slated to play Sunday, but there will be a lot of newer faces across the offensive line.
Cleveland may take a somewhat rush-first approach against this stingy secondary, so pass-rush opportunities may be relatively rare, but if the Bears can continue to produce across the defensive line, it may be too much for the Browns' offense to overcome.