Chicago Bears: 5 Bold Predictions for the Defense in 2018

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bears defense dominates all season

Since former head coach Lovie Smith left in 2012, the Chicago Bears lost their identity, that being a suffocating defense. The defensive play regressed to the point of giving up multiple 50-point games in a season. The franchise never really had a rich offensive history, except for a few players doing well, so the defense is something fans really held onto.

With Fangio, the defense is coming back. It got back to a top-ten unit last season. This season, the players on the defense feel very good about taking another step forward. The front office felt the need to keep the continuity. They did that by re-signing their key players and keeping the coaching staff intact (Fangio could have left with a new regime coming in but ultimately he re-signed with the Bears).

The Bears have a battle at the other defensive end spot. Jonathan Bullard and Roy Robertson-Harris are fighting to be the starter. This is a battle that probably goes to the end of the preseason. With each player working hard to beat the other, both of them inevitably get better. That’s good news for the Bears.

In addition to keeping continuity, the Bears also added young, athletic talent such as Smith, Joel Iyiegbuniwe, Bilal Nichols, and Kylie Fitts through the draft. Furthermore, he picked up Keith Toliver II as an undrafted rookie. Toliver has the tools to be a good player but wasn’t able to put it together in his time at LSU. Iyiegbuniwe is a linebacker who can play inside or outside. Fitts is another player who has a lot of physical gifts but had injury trouble in college. Nichols is a defensive lineman who could be a starter on the line down the road.

Depth has been an issue for the Bears. They’ve suffered injuries to key players and that affected the depth. Now, however, they are deep in a number of places. If players play up to their abilities, the defense won’t drop a great deal if an injury occurs.

In 2018, the “Monsters of the Midway” return. They’ll wreak havoc around the league and bring hope back to Chicago Bears fans. While the offense may still be a mystery, the defense is a known commodity and will take a step forward. By doing so, the unit will help the offense by giving it a shorter field and scoring points themselves. An exciting defense makes its return to Soldier Field.

Prediction: Defense ranks 6th in points allowed, 4th in total yards allowed, 9th in turnovers forced, 6th in passing yards allowed, 3rd in passing touchdowns allowed, 10th in rushing yards allowed, 8th in rushing touchdowns allowed, 2nd in sacks

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