Why Chicago Bears' Defense Guarantees Team Will Go Far in 2012

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Why Chicago Bears' Defense Guarantees Team Will Go Far in 2012
David Banks/Getty Images

The Chicago Bears defense put on another masterful performance at Soldier Field on Monday night, as the Bears beat the Detroit Lions 13-7. This has been par for the course for a defense that has remained one of the most feared in the NFL, and it could carry the Bears to a Super Bowl.

In a league powered by offense, great defense reigns supreme—at least that's the hope for the Chicago Bears.

Saying Chicago's defense is one of the best in the league isn't a shock to anyone. Through their first six games, the Bears rank sixth in total defense, allowing an average of 299.3 yards per game. They also rank first in points allowed with an average of 13 points per game.

This defense doesn't overwhelm teams with exotic packages or schemes. The Bears keep it as simple as possible and dare you to score on them. As their points-allowed-per-game ranking will show you, teams have had problems with that aspect.

This isn't just a great defense, it's a Super Bowl defense. The Bears' simple, yet effective defense thrives mainly on turnovers. Their performance against Detroit on Monday night was a shining example. The Lions had four turnovers (three fumbles and an interception), with all but one of them coming in the red zone.

For the season, the Bears are plus-13 in turnovers, good for first in the NFL. Overall, they've caused 14 interceptions and seven fumbles, ranking first in interceptions and are tied for first in fumbles.

This Bears' defense doesn't just keep you from scoring, but scores plenty of points on their own.

The excellence Chicago's defense has shown in forcing turnovers and limiting points has allowed the offense to grow into itself. While not spectacular, the Bears' offense has gotten the job done, scoring an average of 27 points per game. Yardage wise, the Bears haven't been as prolific, but a lot of that is due to the help the Bears defense has given them by forcing turnovers and giving them good field position.

But Chicago's offense fits perfectly with its defense. Jay Cutler has brought out the best in Brandon Marshall, much like during their Denver days. Matt Forte and Michael Bush have combined to provide the best running back corps in the NFL. If there's an issue with the Bears, it's with their offensive line, which has been an on-going issue for the team the last few seasons.

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But Chicago has a defense that can mask even the deepest flaws. It's not just about their superstars—Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs—but about how this unit plays as a whole.

San Francisco's defense might be more prolific, and Atlanta's defense is still the only one undefeated, but the Bears' defense reigns supreme in the NFL, and it will lead the Bears deep in the postseason, straight to New Orleans come February.

 

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