Chicago Bears: Defensive Preview – The surprise of the North
When talking about the defense for the Chicago Bears, surprisingly you are talking about one of the better teams of 2016. They finished 14th in total defense, seventh against the pass, and 26th against the rush. The larger number can be a bit misleading. As the season went on their defense was on the field an awful lot. The offense just could keep the ball long enough. Will the Bears have a similar 2017?
The defensive line of the Chicago Bears is one of the better lines in the league. Akiem Hicks is a young active pass rusher. The sixth-year DE had 54 tackles to go along with seven sacks in 2016. He led a solid group of defensive lineman that did what they could to stay in the game. They will need a repeat performance from him and the rest of the players up front if they expect to be competitive in 2017.
The linebacking group of the Bears defense is solid. Leading the way in the middle is Danny Trevathan. He is an excellent run stopper. Then you add the pass rushing abilities of Pernell McPhee on the outside and the Chicago Bears can make things happen. Lamarr Houston, when healthy, is also a solid pass rusher. He can also cover the tight end in the passing game. However, he has suffered a season-ending knee injury in two of the last three years.
The Chicago Bears secondary is one of the better in the league. They finished 2016 ranked seventh. In 2017 the just be better. The signing of Prince Amukamara for the Jacksonville Jaguars could prove to be a solid pickup. He will go opposite Kyle Fuller who is quietly becoming a solid shutdown corner for the Bears. These corners along with Quintin Demps in the defensive backfield can lock down much of the opposing passing game. This will be an area that the Bears excel at in 2017.
The Chicago Bears could finish 2017 as a top 10 defense. They will be in many close games due to this defense. It is one of the best in the league. Unfortunately, their offense will fail their tremendous efforts. If the Bears are able to keep the core of this defense together beyond, 2017, good things will come about.
Editor’s Note: This article can also be seen in our Upcoming NFL Preview Edition.