The Chicago Bears dominated the Washington Redskins 31-15 on ESPN’s Monday Night Football. The final score doesn’t do justice to the Bears’ dominance in this game. From the outset, the Bears proved they have the NFL’s premier dominant defense. At halftime, the score was 28-3. The second half was boring in comparison as Chicago tried to run out the clock and played more of a “prevent” defense to hold on to the huge lead.
Chicago Bears Defense: Most Dominant in the NFL
If we didn’t already know it, this game proved that Chicago has the NFL’s most dominant defense. The Bears are third in points allowed (13.0), eighth in yards allowed (313.7), 14th in passing yards allowed (245.0), fifth in rushing yards allowed (68.7), tied for sixth in takeaways (6), second in first downs allowed via rushing (8), third in third-down percentage allowed (22.9%), fifth in sacks (11), first in sack yards lost (92), tied for third in interceptions (4), fourth in yards per rush allowed (3.1), and second in longest rush allowed (14 yards).
These statistics are great but they only take into account this season’s first three games. If we dive deeper into the numbers using last season’s statistics, one can feel confident that Chicago’s defense is simply the best in football at this time. According to Football Outsiders, in 2018 Chicago had the best defense in the NFL according to their DVOA statistic (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average). In fact, the ’18 Bears had the eighth-best defense since 1986. They had the 10th best percentage of interceptions per drive (14.8 percent) from any defense from 2008-2018.
So far in 2019, according to Football Outsiders, the Bears are third in DVOA through the first three weeks behind only the New England Patriots and San Francisco 49ers. It won’t be long and I project the Bears to leap over those two teams. The Patriots have played the Pittsburgh Steelers, Miami Dolphins, and the New York Jets so far. Two of those three teams are brutal on offense. As for San Francisco, they have played the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Cincinnati Bengals, and Pittsburgh. One common opponent you can see is the Steelers. Maybe the losses of Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown (and now an injured Ben Roethlisberger) are too much for Pittsburgh to handle.
Led by new defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano, within a few weeks I predict Chicago will stand alone on top of Defensive DVOA ranking. For now, combining last year’s number one ranking along with this year’s number three ranking thus far, one can clearly see that the Bears have the most dominant defense in the entire NFL.
Mitchell Trubisky finally threw a touchdown pass in the third game on the Bears 25th possession of the season. Proving how important rhythm and confidence play into a player’s psychology, he then proceeded to throw his second and third touchdown passes of the season on the Bears 26th and 27th possessions. Some ESPN personalities still found a way to broadcast Trubisky’s weaknesses in the postgame show, which seemed especially weird after he just led his team to a 31 point outburst by missing only six passes out of 31 attempts.
ESPN even showed video of at least three of those six misses. He must have forgotten about the 25 completions and the three touchdown passes. Oh well. Haters hate. Trubisky’s final numbers were 25-31 for 231 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception. His rating was 116.5, raising his season rating to 81.3. Nevertheless, Mitch must do better than his first two outings. In this game, he looked solid. If he keeps playing like this, the Bears will be very successful.
Taylor Gabriel was so quiet over this season’s first two games, catching only three balls for 35 yards, that it seemed like he became a librarian during the off-season. However, in Washington on Monday night, Gabriel exploded loudly for six catches for 73 yards and three touchdowns. He finished his night with a carry for seven yards, leaving with a possible concussion according to the Chicago Tribune. He entered concussion protocol so we’ll see how he proceeds in practice this week prior to the big NFC North showdown on Sunday versus Minnesota at Soldier Field.
Khalil Mack is the premier 3-4 outside linebacker in the league. His pass-rushing ability sets him apart as a key difference-maker. Chicago’s defense would be good without Mack. With him, the Bears can stake a claim to the NFL’s best defense. Mack once again proved how invaluable he is by getting after Redskins quarterback Case Keenum on Monday Night. He recorded four tackles, three of which were solo stops. More importantly, Mack acted like a Mack truck, steamrolling his way to two sacks of the Redskins quarterback. In addition, he forced two fumbles by Keenum, one of which was recovered by teammate Akiem Hicks. Chicago led the league with 36 takeaways in 2018. Five takeaways in Washington has the Bears on their way to leading the NFL once again this year.
Player of the Game
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix was signed by Chicago to replace Adrian Amos who signed up north with the Green Bay Packers. So far, so great. Clinton-Dix is playing like the guy who was drafted 21st overall in the 2014 NFL Draft by Green Bay. After the Packers surprisingly traded him to Washington after seven games last season, Clinton-Dix became a free agent and eagerly signed with Chicago because he saw how much fun the Bears were having during last season’s playoff run. Also, he wanted to join fellow Alabama Crimson Tide friend, safety Eddie Jackson in the same defensive backfield. Life sure is funny sometimes. We’ve basically had musical safeties with Chicago, Green Bay, Washington, and a little Alabama sprinkled in.
On MNF, Clinton-Dix recorded nine total tackles which led the team, seven of which were solo stops. He intercepted two passes and scored his first career touchdown in the first quarter, giving Chicago the early 7-0 lead. Overall, it was just a fantastic night for Clinton-Dix who got to score on national television against his old team while helping his new team celebrate in the endzone with a bizarre tug-of-war dance bit. It was Clinton-Dix’s only mistake of the evening.
Big NFC Norris Matchup
Next up for Chicago in Week 4 are the rival Minnesota Vikings (2-1). The Vikes travel down to Soldier Field for a pivotal NFC North matchup. Both teams have very good to great defenses with developing offenses.
Watch for the dominant Chicago Bears defense to defend their home turf in an old black-and-blue division gridiron grudge match. Early prediction: Bears 17, Vikings 13.