A closer analysis of Chicago Bears’ defense would show that it lacks the luster head coach, Lovie Smith portrayed on Sunday when he said, “Our defense outplayed their defense. That's the way you look at it.”
Statistically, Bears defense yielded a total of 543 yards in the match against Carolina Panthers. Panthers on the other hand allowed only 317 yards, which makes one wonder how the Bears managed to defeat the Panthers with a score line of 34-29.
After Week of NFL action, and a day in his office, Smith was ready to retract his earlier statement, instead he stated, “Defensively, we didn't play as well as we needed to, it's kind of as simple as that. Whenever you give up that many yards you're not happy with that.”
However, that is not the description of their performance in Week 4 alone, as a matter of fact Bears’ defense had been poor throughout. Although, Bears have played some of the NFL’s strongest offensive units, they are defense is rated at No. 31. Bears have allowed an average of 425.8 yards per game which is worse only to New England Patriots.
Moreover, the Bears are 24th in rushing yards permitted per game at 124.2, but even that is not the end of their woes, Bears are worst off against the pass, having allowed an average of 301.5 yards per game which ranks them 29th in the league.
Smith confessed his defense should have sacked rookie quarterback Cam Newton at least once while he threw 46 passes. Smith said, “We need to get more pressure on them. We gave up big plays in the passing game. We didn't play the run well. You just can't have that, but you have to give (the Panthers) a lot of credit.”
Panthers on the other hand have resurged as a new team under Ron Rivera, after posting 2-14 last year which got John Fox fired, however truth be told it Bears’ lack of defense that should be criticized rather mulling over Panthers extraordinary offensive capabilities.
Nonetheless, Panthers were impressive in the match. They had 10 plays of 20 yards or longer on Sunday which should have been a worrying sight for Smith. Panthers have been putting up big numbers throwing the ball this year but that is also because they have trailed mostly.
“We're working on that,” Smith said. “I can't give you a reason why (Sunday was so bad). Believe me, if we knew that we wouldn't let it happen. We wouldn't be talking about it afterwards. When things aren't working exactly the way we like, we go back to the practice field, we identify it, which we have, and we'll work to get it better.
“We won't play defense like that very often around here. It's still early. We'll get the run defense -- and not just the run defense -- I'm as disappointed in some of the big plays that we've given up defensively as much as anything, but these are all correctible things.”