Chicago Bears Rookie Watch: Week 5 Edition

Darnell Wright, Chicago Bears
Darnell Wright, Chicago Bears / Cooper Neill/GettyImages
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Chicago Bears, Justin Jones, Gervon Dexter
Chicago Bears, Justin Jones, Gervon Dexter / Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Bears Rookie Watch: Gervon Dexter, DT

Ask most Bears fans what the weakest unit on the team is, and it's likely that the defensive line would receive the most votes. That may be changing, though, because the more Gervon Dexter plays, the better he and the defensive line look.

Gervon Dexter has become a playmaker on a defensive line that badly needed one

Dexter has carved out more playing time as the season has gone on, and though he's still not seeing the field as much as Bears fans would like, he played on nearly half the team's defensive snaps against Washington. The second-round pick was a force against the Commanders, earning the highest PFF grade on the team on the back of six quarterback pressures and two hits on Sam Howell. He did all this despite only playing 33 snaps, which begs the question: can we please see him on the field more often?

The Bears had only two sacks as a team heading into last week's game, but they got to Sam Howell five times. Dexter wasn't able to record any of those sacks, but he harassed Howell all night. Even after a week in which the Bears gave up a big lead to Denver, it never really seemed like Washington was going to get back in this one, because the Bears' pass rush was relentless, and Dexter led the way.

The Bears ranked second-to-last in rushing yards allowed last year, surrendering 4.9 yards per carry to opposing rushers. The season is still young, but after completely bottling up Brian Robinson and the Washington running game, they now rank 13th, with just 3.7 yards per carry allowed. Robinson has been impressive to start the year, but he managed only 10 yards on six carries before Eric Bieniemy abandoned the run.

Having a defense that is close to the league average would be a big improvement over last year. If Dexter can continue on this trajectory (and Fields and Moore keep balling out), there could be more wins in the Bears' future.