Let's make no qualms about it, the Chicago Bears' defense is the primary reason for the team's dominating 34-18 win over the Dallas Cowboys. The Bears also owe a thank you to the Cowboys' consistently out-of-sync offense. While the Bears' defense did indeed play well, the "dominance" of the performance was aided by consistent disconnects between Tony Romo and the Cowboy receivers --Dez Bryant most of all. There were a couple of plays where the Cowboys had the Bears beat and Tony Romo just missed. If the Cowboys convert any of those, it's an entirely new game.
The Bears' defense is opportunistic. And that mode of operation was at work in the most gratuitous way Monday night. That is worth a certain amount of credit. Through four games, the Bears' defense has allowed 14, 16, 6, and 18 points in each respective game. When you factor in the defense's ability to consistently get to the quarterback and take the ball away, it's no surprise the Bears are 3-1. If the offense would have been anywhere close to present in Week 2 against the Green Bay Packers, they could easily be 4-0.
The high quality play of the defense is getting to be more of a common occurrence around Chicago this season; it's the offense that is making us wonder just how far this team can go. While that question can't be answered over just a four game sample, the fact we are seeing consistent improvement each successive week is a good sign. While the point totals aren't quite there yet, against the Cowboys the Bears were able to consistently move the ball. If they continue to do that --the offensive line protecting Jay Cutler is absolutely the reason it happens-- the points will come.
As new offensive coordinator Mike Tice continues "figuring out" how to call the plays, and the offense becomes more comfortable with each other, the execution is going to be better. There were plenty of instances of that better execution showing its face against Dallas. Cutler and Brandon Marshall are showing their connection more and more each week, Devin Hester and Alshon Jeffery are becoming targets, and tight end Kellen Davis even made a few timely catches. If the offense continues the upward trend and the defense is playing anywhere close to where they have been, I can't imagine looking forward to having to play the Bears.
It's too early to tell how far the Bears could go, but it's an exciting time to be a fan and watch the potential unfold.
Brian is a lifelong Chicago Bears fan, having lived in Illinois his entire life and having followed the NFL throughout.
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