2. The Chicago Bears are using DeMarcus Walker more creatively
The player most impacted by the Montez Sweat trade was DeMarcus Walker. While his playing time is down in recent weeks, this is for the better and has brought out the best in him. He was on pace for a career-high, and he was being asked to take on too much of a role as an every-down player.
As a rotational edge, Walker is much better and brings more per-snap punch. Since Sweat has been added, Walker saw his pass rush rate go from 8% to 15%. More than that, he has nine pressures in the last two games. Two of his pressures against Minnesota led directly to turnovers.
More than just playing less, he is moving around more. The Bears will push him inside on pass-rushing snaps to get more speed along the interior. They even have a look that features Walker and Sweat on one side, then Gervon Dexter out as an end next to Justin Jones on the other. It gives them the ability to run stunts, twists, and all kinds of games.
More than that, they also have used Walker on the opposite side of Sweat more often. Walker played 14.6 snaps per game against left tackles in the first eight weeks of the season, but that is up to 24.6 in the last four weeks. On Monday, he had 27 snaps on that side.
This allows them to bring a run defense in front of Sweat, Walker, Andrew Billings, and Justin Jones. Walker is now in different roles, but both are their strongest pass-rush and run-stopping groups in the last few weeks.