Not everybody gets to stand in the limelight when you have a good football team. There are the stars and then there the few players who should be stars but constantly get overlooked. Back in the 2000s, that would’ve been Thomas Jones. In the 1980s? Keith Van Horne fit the profile. So looking at this newly crowned Chicago Bears playoff team, who is it this time?

There are some viable candidates. Linebacker Danny Trevathan doesn’t get nearly enough love as he should for the plays he makes. The same goes for the steady presence of Bobby Massie at right tackle. However, Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report, a member of the Pro Football Writers of America, has a different name in mind.

One who quietly makes all the great pieces on defense function at their highest level.

“When you think of the Chicago Bears defense—a unit that allowed a league-low 17.7 points per game in 2018—you probably think of guys like Khalil Mack, Roquan Smith and Leonard Floyd.

If you follow the Bears, though, you know that defensive tackle Eddie Goldman helps make pass-rushers like Mack and sideline-to-sideline linebackers like Smith better. The 2015 second-round pick doesn’t get a ton of national attention because he plays on the defensive interior, but he’s an anchor of the front seven and a disruptive player in his own right.”

Eddie Goldman made sacrifices to ensure Chicago Bears defense thrives

Nose tackles, in general, don’t get a ton of air time in the NFL. They’re much like the centers and guards on the offensive side. Even though they do amazing work for their teams, they don’t get credit because it’s easy to miss what they’re doing from a statistical perspective. In this case, Goldman had 40 tackles, 3 sacks, and a safety in 2018.

That may not seem like much, but it doesn’t tell nearly the whole story. Goldman had 31 stops last season, which are tackles for no gain or a loss. His presence in the middle often forced blockers to double team him, freeing up others along the line to get one-on-one matchups. It’s a big reason the Bears finished with the #1 run defense in the NFL.

Being 25-years old and on a new contract, he should remain a fixture for the Bears defense for years to come.