Chicago Bears Positive No. 4: Defense as a whole
As a whole, the Chicago Bears defense came to play today. I'm not confident in Matt Eberflus as a head coach, but I think I'd be fine with him as the defensive coordinator. Since taking over for Alan Williams, the defense has looked better as a whole — not great, but better. The team has really come together under his leadership and you are noticing more energy and a shift in multiple facets of the game.
I already mentioned the defensive backfield, but it should be known that the Chicago Bears' run-stopping ability has been legit this season. This is a big achievement after being one of the worst run-stopping defenses in the league last year. After this game, the team is ranked 8th in rushing yards allowed (89.5 p/g). Today's game helped as the team only allowed 46 rushing yards.
One of the biggest reasons why the Bears' defense has struggled was an inability to get off the field on third down. Especially on third-and-long. Well, today the team only allowed the Vikings to convert two of 13 first downs. That's impressive since before this game they were allowing over a 60% conversion rate on third downs. Yikes!
The defense also got to the quarterback again by sacking Kirk Cousins two times. The team only had two sacks through the first three weeks of the year, but has now racked up seven sacks over the last two weeks and finds themselves tied for second-to-last in the league with nine. Only the Giants are worse with only five. The Bills and Ravens lead the NFL with 24. Baby steps, but at least they are on pace for more than single-digit sacks this season.
One last positive, the Panthers lost again. This means the Chicago Bears still hold the top spot in the 2024 NFL Draft. They also hold the second-overall pick, but I cannot cheer for them to tank. It's not in me to do that.