The Chicago Bears ran out 23-6 winners versus the St. Louis Rams at soldier field on Sunday afternoon, with the defense putting in an impressive showing. Below are three main observations I gained from the defensive performance:
Tim Jennings CB:
So far this season Jennings has been not only one of the most impressive performers on the Bears roster, but arguably the best defensive player in the whole of the NFL.
Jennings tallied his fourth interception of the season. His ball hawking ability was clear to see last season, it was his poor hands that cost him a pick on a number of occasions.
However through hard work over the offseason Jennings is now cashing in on his instinctive ability to be in the right place at the right time.
Jennings has also been directly responsible for two further interceptions; tipping passes which have subsequently led to Chris Conte and Major Wright receiving a pick on their respective stat sheets, the latter with a pick 6.
I do worry with Jennings that his gambling ways will come back to haunt the Bears at some point, but credit where it is due, this guy is hot right now and it is thoroughly enjoyable to watch.
The Bears Defensive Line:
This unit has made a mockery of every o-line they have played this year. The Bears have 14 sacks in 3 games, they are on pace to hit 74 sacks this season.
What has been most impressive is that the whole line is contributing. Julius Peppers is a stud as always but finally the rest of the line is cashing in on the double teams the Peppers demands.
So far five D-Lineman have 1.5 sacks or more. Rookie Shea McClellin has exceed expectations, after his struggles in camp and preseason, he has raised his game dramatically and looks every bit the player advertised when taken as the 19th pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, kudos Phil Emery I tip my hat to you.
Stephen Paea was dominant today, frankly he abused the Rams o-line all game. Henry Melton has raised his game to another level so far this season and Amobi Okoye came back into the fold without missing a beat.
This unit look to be unstoppable at times and if this ritual abuse of opposing teams continues, we could all be witnessing something special in Chicago from this unit.
The Bears Run Defense:
One of the reasons the Bears have been so successful, has been their ability to stifle the rushing game.
Brian Urlacher does seem to be looking a little bit like his old self as each week passes. Whilst the Bears try to nurse Urlacher back to health Lance Briggs has raised his game to take the slack.
It is extremely important the Bears continue to stifle offenses in the rushing game to force long third down situations. By doing this, the Bears will force opposing QB’s to hold the ball longer, allowing their pass rush to work their brutal magic up front.