Ironic and/or fitting. On my train ride into the office this morning, I was reflecting on how the 2010 Chicago Bears defense seems to be back (baby!). Then as I walked into my office, two security guards at the front of the building were talking about how great the Bears defense has been this year. Great minds think alike.
It’s hard for me believe, because I’ve been making the case since the 2006 Super Bowl season that the problem with the Bears has been the defense more than the offense. Go ahead and talk about how bad Rex Grossman, Cedric Benson, Kyle Orton, Jay Cutler’s 2009 interceptions, Ron Turner, and the neglected, aging offensive line was. But the defense is what cost the 2007-2009 Bears key games.
Through the first nine games of the 2010 season, the Bears lead the NFL in points allowed. They’re second in the league in interceptions-seems hard to believe but true. They’re also ranked second in rushing defense, but 15th against the pass. Overall in total yards allowed they’re 4th. Pretty impressive, given that Green Bay got all of the pre and early-season accolades for having the best defense in football.
Even more impressive is that the Bears are doing this with their $40 million washed-up defensive tackle only playing scrub duty and fielding a questionable secondary. And while some will be quick to point out that mega-millionaire Julius Peppers only has two sacks, the pressure he has been generating has been formidable.
The Bear defense has been lucky on the injury front, and we’ll continue to need extremely good luck for this to continue. But all in all, it’s great to see the strength of the Chicago Bears historically to be back.