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Bears Wed Dec 08 2010

Footballic Ramblings: Bears Defense is Soooo Good

Footballic_Ramblings2.jpg Let's talk about the Bears' insanely good defense. The Bears victory on Sunday against Detroit was only the fourth time this season that an opposing offense has scored over 20 points on Chicago. Dallas, Seattle, Philadelphia and now the Lions are the only teams to have crossed that barrier on Da Bears dis year.

More remarkable is the fact that the Bears are only ranked third in scoring defense behind the low, low, low averages of Green Bay (an astounding 15.2 points per game) and Pittsburgh (another shockingly low average of 15.9 ppg). Yep, even though the Bears are having their statistically most dominant performance since that 2006 season (you know, the Grossman-helmed Super Bowl team), Chicago is only the third-best defense out there and the second-best defense in its own division. Rough time to be an NFC North quarterback, I suppose.

Still this Bears defense is doing some incredible work and it largely comes down to the addition of Julius Peppers and the defense staying relatively healthy, stable and whole this year.

Peppers' impact really can't be overemphasized; the man has been a disruptive force. Offensive coordinators and o-line coaches alike are scheming around him. He's being double-teamed as frequently as teams can afford and yet he's still pressuring the quarterback or barreling through and tackling running backs for negative yards.

Meanwhile, on the occasion that Peppers is actually stopped by a double team the rest of the defensive line has been able to feast on whatever scraps of offensive line are left to try and block the rest of Chicago's average-to-good d-linemen.

The Bears are largely sticking to their guns: base Tampa Two, 4-3, a few wrinkles and shines of 3-4 on the odd down. But largely the Tampa Two, in spite of still uninspired and very simplistic looks and sets -- Lovie's still not smart, mind you -- is working very well. The addition of Peppers and the pressure the defensive line can now dump on an overwhelmed offensive line affords the linebackers and a still very "meh" secondary the opportunity to get cause turnovers or [Loviespeak warning] be "in a position to make a play."

Is this Bears team good enough to win the Super Bowl? No. But very few teams are good enough to do that. Am I allowed to change my opinion if Chicago defeats New England, Minnesota, The New York Jets and Green Bay Packers in the next month? Sure.

But the fact remains, after years of talk of a superstar or two needing to show up; and the McClaskey family never wanting to open their coffers, the arrival of Peppers (and Jay Cutler, sorta -- more on that next time) has forced the Bears, their fans, their media to deliver and behold what happens when all-World talent takes over and backs up average football schemes and average football brains.

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