Chicago Bears Week 15 Winner No. 3: Defensive Line/Run Defense
The Chicago Bears have gone from one of the worst defensive lines in the league to being one of the best in the league in recent weeks. While the superstar, talented names might not be here in Chicago, the Bears have a quality line that has been getting the job done lately. This week, with no Yannick Ngakoue, the line continued to do good work.
The pressure on Joe Flacco was consistent all game, and he was clearly unconcomfortable. There were four players on the Bears who got involved in the sack statistic. Led by Sweat's 2.5 sacks, they were able to combine for four on the day. DeMarcus Walker, Gervon Dexter, and T.J. Edmunds all had half a sack each. It was an active game by all of the pieces on the defensive line in the pass rush aspect, and it showed in the stat sheet in the sack and turnover column.
What has been even more impressive has been the Chicago Bears run defense in recent games. They are currently the top run defense in the NFL in terms of rushing yards allowed per game. Credit to Justin Jones, Andrew Billings, and Gervon Dexter for especially stepping up as of late. Dexter specifically is starting to show his talent and has become basically a starter with Jones. Billings as the nose tackle run stuffer has been great too, and the Bears have already rewarded him with a contract extension. Walker also made a few plays to get instant penetration in the backfield and blow up some runs against the Browns, which is important because he is taking the Ngakoue role. The success of the defensive line has made the back seven of the defense elite as well lately, but it all starts up front.
The Chicago Bears have a defense. No matter what can be said about this team, the defense has come together and is looking better and better each week. While there are a lot of questions left to address, more and more answers are coming from this side of the ball. The effort against the Browns continued that positive trend. Although they did allow the late go-ahead score, the Bears would have been nowhere near in contention to win if it was not for the great defensive effort today.