After the dominating win in Week 1 for the Chicago Bears, much of the focus is going to fall on the offense. And rightfully so. Jay Cutler and friends overcame a rough start and rolled to 41 points against the Indianapolis Colts to start off the season with a bang.
Also strong in the tilt was the defense. Though they gave up a nice chunk of yards to Andrew Luck, they bent but didn’t break and surrendered just 14 points in the win. Keying that effort by the defense were defensive tackle Henry Melton and defensive back Tim Jennings.
Melton continues to be a force in the middle of that defensive line for the Bears. He had a pair of sacks in the win, as well as another tackle for a loss. That’s an impressive start for him after a solid year last year, his first as a starter with this Bears team. His finesse up the middle makes him one of the more dangerous pass rushers from the defensive tackle position in the entire league.
Tim Jennings had a fantastic game overall for the Bears. Playing against his former team, Jennings was all over the field. He intercepted a pair of Luck passes, handling two of the Bears’ three picks. He also set up an interception for Chris Conte with a beautiful diving play in the end zone with the Colts threatening.
Jennings was all over the field all game, also defending four passes in addition to those picks. His presence was especially huge with Charles Tillman going down early with a leg injury and sitting out most of the game.
As much attention as the big names get on this defense, it’s the role players that are going to determine how well this unit performs this season. And if what we saw from Henry Melton and Tim Jennings on Sunday was any indication, it should be business as usual for this defense in 2012.