The Chicago Bears offense has been the primary focal point of anger from fans through most of this 2019 season. However, some people aren’t willing to take the defense off the hook just because they’ve performed to a higher level. One of those people is Brian Urlacher. The Hall of Fame middle linebacker understandably has a high level of expectation for Bears defenses. He carried that torch for his entire career and knows there is a certain standard for that side of the ball in this town.
So when he spoke with Waddle & Silvy about the state of the Bears, he didn’t quite jump on the wagon in taking shots at the offense. His annoyance was instead directed at the defense. His reasoning wasn’t all that crazy either.
“Most of the money has been spent on defense. Correct? All I’m saying is it’s easy to point at Mitch. It’s easy to point at the offense. I’ll say this, I know most of the guys on that defense and they all say, ‘We got to play better on defense.’ Because if you have the lead in the 4th quarter and the other team has the football, you’re expected to win that game, in my opinion. That was our mentality. If we were on the field, no matter where we were on the field…we were going to make them kick a field goal.
We’re not going to lose the lead and that was the situation. It was Oakland in London. Same thing. We were up (21-17), they go down and score a touchdown. I know we turned the ball over on offense against San Diego but still had a chance to win the game by holding them to a field goal.
Even after all that, Mitch drives us down at the end of the game and we have a chance to win the game with a field goal. So as bad as you want to pain the picture that Mitch is, he’s not that bad…So I want to go back to this. All that money is on defense.”
Brian Urlacher is correct about the Bears defense
The defense has been good this year, at least in the stat column. However, that can be misleading. The truth is this unit seems to have lost its killer instinct. Why that is remains a mystery. Maybe it’s switching to Chuck Pagano as defensive coordinator. Maybe it’s the loss of Akiem Hicks to IR. Either way, this unit has struggled way more often than they did last year. Often at the worst times too.
They allowed a 97-yard drive in London against the Raiders in the 4th quarter to lose a 24-21 lead. They defended a 16-10 lead in the 4th against the Chargers two weeks ago and game up the go-ahead touchdown with just minutes left. Now even though the Bears won the game, they again looked far too generous. Jeff Driskel, a career backup who hadn’t practiced all week leading up to the game, hung a career-high 267 yards passing with a touchdown on them. This in addition to 37 yards rushing.
That touchdown came in? You guessed it. The 4th quarter. Urlacher is absolutely right. This defense is paid way too much money to be performing at what is frankly an average level.