A difficult area to grade for reasons not entirely having to do with the defense. The Bears needed someone on the defense to have a breakout dominant defensive effort, consistently beating his matchup, and they got that early. Unfortunately the defense was sent back onto the field by the Bears’ offense in the second half. The Bears had five possessions in the second half; four were three-and-out’s and the fourth was just four plays.
Jarvis Jenkins set a strong early tone with a sack of Russell Wilson on the Seahawks’ second snap, combining a bull rush with a quick slide to beat right guard J.R. Sweeny. Jenkins followed that with a third-down sack that forced Seattle to settle for a field goal after a 64-yard punt return.
Jenkins tied for team high with 10 tackles, one for a loss, and added two hits on Wilson.
“The main thing the last two weeks [when the Bears had zero sacks] was that we weren’t finishing our rushes,” Jenkins said. “It’s all about beating your man and then getting the quarterback. We were having our eyes too far in the backfield and not beating our blocks all the way.”
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As important, the down-three were strong at the point of attack when the Seahawks brought in Marshawn Lynch without sacrificing containment of Russell Wilson. Lynch left the game with a hamstring injury after averaging just 2.8 yards on five first-half carries.
The line took a hit when tackle Will Sutton had to be helped off the field in the second quarter with what was reported as a biceps injury. The defense got little in the way of stats from nose tackle Eddie Goldman but overall, “our inside guys did a great job of not letting him step up and letting us make plays on the outside,” said linebacker Pernell McPhee, who had two sacks.