Our man Champ, co-founder of Weareregalradio.com, is providing special Chicago Bears-related columns for the RedEye newspaper this season, appearing online every Thursday and in the print edition each Friday.
This week — after a rough, rough beginning to this Bears season, its hard to argue that the team hasn’t made itself respectable in the past two months. Since the beginning of October the Bears are 5-4, since November 3-2 — good enough to make it hard to bet against the team from week to week, but not good enough to even sweep the team into the playoffs in the very weak NFC.
Chicago’s playoff competitiveness rating would be up quite a bit more if only for some tough breaks and unforeseen twists, at least one would think — the Bears have loss their four games since Oct. 18 (Lions) by a total of 14 points. Two touchdowns have made the difference between this current 5-7 team looking forward to a mid-first rounder in the 2016 Draft (back to Grant Park we go!) and a 9-3 team atop the NFC Central, ranking third in the conference and playing as hot a brand of football as anyone north of Charlotte.
Alas, we’ve gotten what we’ve gotten, and anyone who saw the Bears turn a sure win into a loss against the 49ers would attest too, it was some tightness involved in the team’s process, it had to be the way they let Blaine Gabbert run all through them to tie the game and fly the ball north of their heads to win it.
Champ delves further into what kind of tightness allows a team to give up four winnable games and turn right back around a season that looked like it was begging to be saved. At the top of the list is a defense that while not embarrassing like under Marc Trestman, still does not have the veracity to take control of games like we’re used to around here:
The Bears defense has to figure out a way to generate takeaways. Of 32 NFL teams, the Bears rank 27th in defensive interceptions and 30th in forced fumbles. Part of having a home-field advantage is being able to force teams to give the ball away; that’s something the Bears defense has been lacking.
Read the rest of his column here.
If you don’t know, Joe has experience playing the game both in the Chicago Catholic League (St. Rita) and in college (Butler). Keep following him here, on the RedEye and on Twitter for real, passionate and informative football talk and listen to him each Saturday live on Regal’s “The D & Davis Show” on chicagolandsportsradio.com.
Also remember, you can also catch members of the We Are Regal Radio team in the RedEye’s 5 on 5 feature every Tuesday.
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