The Bears’ come-from-behind wins in the first two weeks has the team riding high entering this week’s Sunday night clash at Pittsburgh.
Still, it’s believed that there is work to be done to get the Bears running on all cylinders and the one aspect of the team being singled out as not firing right now is the defensive line.
For just about the entirety of the Lovie Smith era the d-line has been seen as one of the Bears’ biggest strengths, producing a series of beloved Bears and unlikely stars as varied as Ted Washington and Israel Idonije.
Today the line is under scrutiny and even believed to be a little long in the tooth due to its lack of pressure over the course of Weeks 1 and 2. With only one two combined against the Bengals and Vikings, could we be seeing a decline in the making from Julius Peppers and company?
I find that hard to agree with. Peppers is just getting healthy and Henry Melton may still need a week or two to round into shape after missing just about all the preseason due to his concussion. Playing with both those players in shape will mean the most to the line going forward, it will help though to see better effort against Pittsburgh, because all that effort will be needed.
If there’s any way Pittsburgh can gain control over Sunday night’s game it will come through the Steelers’ weakened line raising their game and helping keep Ben Roethlisberger upright long enough to allow pass plays to develop and to keep the Bears from either blitzing too freely or stacking their defense to stop the run, which may need as many Bears off the line of scrimmage as possible to work properly.
To see Peppers, Melton, or even Wooten, McClellin, Paea or whoever acting as aggressors and causing havoc in the Steelers backfield would be the first sign that the Bears are on their way to a 3-0 start.
Bears determined to put pressure on Roethlisberger (ChicagoBears.com)
Is It Time to Worry About Julius Peppers and the Defensive Line? (Bleacher Report)
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