By Jack Delaney on July 5, 2014
While the 32nd ranked rush defense of the Chicago Bears is fresh in the mind of fantasy football players, remember that last year was an anomaly. Since 2010, the Bears' defense has ranked in the top five in scoring. Several key factors indicate a bounce-back season for the Bears, and you can benefit from your league mates fear.
The Bears' defense finished third in defensive touchdowns in 2013, and it also finished eighth in interceptions. In 2012, the defense scored ten touchdowns and recorded 24 interceptions, so other then the incredible amount of points allowed, the defense wasn't far away from recording similar numbers in these two categories from its 2012 campaign.
The Bears' quarterback coach, Matt Cavanaugh, said he has seen incredible progress in Jay Cutler. Cutler has reportedly been open to suggestions on improving his game, and this should help to limit his turnovers and provide more scoring opportunities for his team. With incredible offensive weapons, Cutler should help the Bears to jump out to early leads against their opponents, which means that teams will have to throw more against Chicago.
Coach Paul Pasqualoni was brought in to improve the defensive line, and Reggie Herring will take over the linebackers. The Bears ranked 15th against the pass last season, so an improvement against the ground game will create a more well-rounded unit.
The defense for the Bears ranked fourth in 2010, second in 2011 and first in 2012. The dynamic of teams will change from year to year, but last season was an anomaly for Chicago. While it may not be the highest-scoring team in 2014, the Bears at the very minimum should return to a top-10 performance.
Some may view the Bears as aging, but I like to think that the team is filled with veteran leadership. Charles Tillman, Lance Briggs and Jared Allen will rally the team around their experience, and Briggs and Tillman should start the season healthy. Briggs and Tillman missed a lot of playing time due to injuries last year, and if they can stay in the lineup, this defense should bounce back very quickly.
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