Bears Still Have This Major Concern In Spite Of Strong Offseason

Matt Eberflus, Ryan Poles, Chicago Bears
NFL Analysis Network

The Chicago Bears have had one of the most high-profile offseasons in the NFL, adding numerous offensive weapons through free agency and trades and drafting Caleb Williams with the No. 1 overall pick.

As a result, the Bears have become a trendy pick to make the playoffs in the NFC and even potentially make some noise if they get there.

However, Chicago is not bereft of issues, and Pro Football Focus has pointed out a big one: its defensive front.

As a matter of fact, Pro Football Focus says the Bears have the worst defensive line in football, with edge rusher Montez Sweat representing the club’s only saving grace.

Chicago acquired Sweat from the Washington Commanders at last season’s trade deadline, and he went on to lead the team with six sacks in nine games.

Outside of Sweat, however, the Bears are very thin up front. As a matter of fact, their No. 2 sack-getter from 2023, Justin Jones, departed via free agency, and Chicago has thus far opted not to re-sign Yannick Ngakoue, who finished third on the team in sacks this past year.

The Bears did not address this issue in free agency, nor did they try and find a fix in the NFL Draft.

For that reason, it’s hard to take Chicago seriously as a genuine contender, as teams that are weak in the trenches rarely make much of a dent in the postseason.

The Bears totaled just 30 sacks in 2023, which was the second-worst mark in the league. A full season of Sweat should help, but Chicago needs more than just him, and you also have to figure that Sweat will be seeing plenty of double teams given the lack of talent around him.

So, what can the Bears do?

Ngakoue is still out there, so Chicago can bring him back on a one-year deal. Other names that may interest the Bears include Emmanuel Ogbah and Carl Lawson, both of whom have been solid pass rushers in the past.

Even if Chicago makes another addition, its defensive line will still be among the weakest in football unless a surprising candidate steps up.

The Bears went 7-10 last season, notably going 7-6 after a miserable 0-4 start.

We’ll see if Chicago can overcome its defensive deficiencies in 2024.

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