Thought 3. On the Run Defense
The Colts ran it for 98 yards. The Jaguars ran it for 54 yards. The Packers had one 30-yard run and otherwise quit on that element of the game altogether. Even without their best run stuffer on the line (Eddie Goldman) out the Bears are building a run defense that is going to be formidable moving forward.
Why is this important? Because teams only have so many resources.
If the 2017 Bears are able to defend the run stoutly it will keeps downs and distances manageable on that side of the ball. And this will allow them to do in Chicago what Fangio did in San Francisco: save money at the cornerback spot. You saw how consistent and precise Aaron Rodgers had to be to move the ball against the Bears secondary and that secondary was LeBlanc, Bausby and Glenn. That’s what happens when an offense is faced with third-and-eight as opposed to third-and-two. Put three professional corners on the field and a few of those drives are ending far earlier.
Stop the run. Rush the passer. If you do those two things as a defense, you’ll be at the top of the league every season. The Bears seem to have a beat on the former. As for the latter…
Thought 4. On Leonard Floyd
In Richard Dent’s rookie season, he started only three games. He recorded only three sacks. He turned out pretty good, recording double-digit sack totals the next five seasons and seven of the next eight. Over his next ten seasons as a Bear, Dent averaged over 12 sacks per year.
Leonard Floyd is being asked to do far more than Dent was ever asked. He’s battling through nagging injuries. And through seven games, he has 2.5 sacks, a forced fumble and a touchdown.
There’s star potential in this kid. He’s going to get bigger. He’s going to get smarter on the field. But his performance at Lambeau was this season’s biggest eye opener for me. If he stays healthy, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him approaching ten sacks by the end of the season.