It's finally time to give the Chicago Bears defense the credit it deserves. After being one of the worst defenses in the NFL during the 2013 and 2014 seasons, they have rebounded in 2015 and it’s very clear.
The Bears defense has been great against the run this season. Including Sunday’s win over the Rams, Chicago's defense has given up just one run longer than 20 yards. That came from Seattle’s Thomas Rawls, who broke off a 21-yard run in the Seahawks' Week 3 win.
On Sunday, the Bears faced a rookie running back that has taken the NFL by storm so far in 2015 and they put the clamps on him. Despite giving up a touchdown on the opening drive, Chicago’s defense contained Todd Gurley, which was the biggest key to a much-needed victory.
Gurley finished with just 45 yards on 12 carries and was held in check for the game. One stat that sticks out in particular is Gurley’s longest run being just 9 yards. He’s rallied off runs of 52,55,48 and 71 this season.
To say the Bears defense did a really good job on Gurley might be an understatement.
Other Stats of Note
- Rookie Jeremy Langford joined an exclusive group in Bears history, as he became the third player to have 100 receiving yards, a receiving touchdown and a rushing touchdown in the same game. Hall of Famers Gale Sayers (1965) and Walter Payton (1977) are the other two.
- With a win over the Denver Broncos on Sunday, the Bears can earn their second AFC division season sweep in the last three seasons. They swept the AFC North in 2013. It would be the only two times they have swept an AFC division since the division re-alignments in 2002.
- Jay Cutler’s 151.0 quarterback rating on Sunday was the best of his career, beating a previous high of 146.2 against the Philadelphia Eagles in 2010.
- While both teams were bad on third down Sunday, the Bears managed to hold the Rams to just four conversions on 12 attempts. The Bears defense has been awful this season on third downs, allowing a 44.1 conversion percentage, which is 28th in the NFL.
- Cutler became the first quarterback in Bears history to have two 80-plus-yard touchdown passes.
- The Bears defense recorded 10 quarterback hits on Sunday, which is tied for the most this season by the team. They had 10 quarterback hits against Seattle in Week 3.
- Sunday marked the first time the Bears have beat an NFC team since week 12 of the 2014 season. They haven’t beaten an NFC North opponent since Week 11 of 2014. Their next NFC North game comes in Week 12 against the Green Bay Packers on Thanksgiving.
- Cutler is the only quarterback in the NFC North without a two-interception game. Last season he had two or more interceptions in seven contests. That shows his improvement in coordinator Adam Gases’ offense.