What Happened to the Bears' Defense?
There is an old saying in sports that "Defense wins championships."  The Chicago Bears rode their potent and suffocating defense all the way to the Super Bowl last year.  With magnificent play from many individuals that earned Pro Bowl attention, including linebackers Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs, Brendon Ayanbadejo and defensive lineman Tommie Harris, the Bears' defense was arguably the best in the league.

Get this Brian Urlacher poster 

The 2006 Chicago Bears showed their version of the Tampa Two defensive scheme with the versatile Urlacher being able to drop into coverage 30 yards downfield but still able to make plays at the line of scrimmage.  At times, it seemed like Urlacher was everywhere.  In 2006, he lead the defense to be ranked 5th in total yards, and to be ranked 3rd in the NFL, holding the Bears’ opponents to only 15 points a game.  

It’s 2007 though, and people are starting to wonder what happened to that defense.  The Bears have lost more games this year than they did all of the regular season in 2006, and the defense gave up a record setting day to Vikings' rookie running back Adrian Peterson who torched the Bears' defense for 224 yards on only 20 carries.  Charles Tillman said that they just plain out missed him, which is inexcusable.  Missing tackles does not bode well for a team that prides itself on the defensive side of the ball.  So far this year, the Bears are ranked in the twenties in most defensive categories, which obviously won’t promote winning championships.

The Bears hope they can rebound this season with the weeks ahead and make a run at the topsy-turvy NFC North where the lead changes constantly, and a strong defense is necessary. While I have my doubts that the Bears will be Super Bowl contenders as they were less than 12 months ago, the season is still young, and there is momentum to gain.

By T. Lloyd, 20Yardline.com
October 11, 2007