Bears defense aiming for more takeaways in 2024 season

The Chicago Bears defense has the potential to be one of the best units in the league heading into the 2024 season.

Following a rough start to the 2023 season, the defense rebounded as one of the better groups in the NFL in the back half of the year. Chicago finished with the league’s best run defense and had the fifth-most takeaways (28).

Now, the Bears are looking to build on that success as they return most of their starters from a season ago, including All-Pro cornerback Jaylon Johnson and Pro Bowl edge rusher Montez Sweat, and enter Year 3 in Matt Eberflus’ scheme.

Cornerback Kyler Gordon said the defense has a specific goal they’re targeting heading into the 2024 season: More takeaways.

“I feel like the biggest thing for me and what we all talk about is takeaways, more takeaways,” Gordon said during minicamp. “We have the goal of 20 and 20 — 20 interceptions and 20 fumbles. However we gotta get it, we’re gonna get it. That’s just kind of the standard that we’re putting ourselves to, that we all hold each other to.”

It certainly feels like an attainable goal after Chicago tied for the most interceptions in the NFL (22) last season. But they only had six fumble recoveries, which is something they’ll be looking to improve.

The defense has already received high praise from their offensive teammates, where wide receiver Keenan Allen, quarterback Caleb Williams and guard Teven Jenkins have referred to them as a top 5 defense in the NFL. Despite the praise, Gordon wants to show it on the field.

“I’m all about proving it,” he said. “You can say a lot of things. I would say that I definitely feel a lot from the defense as far as chemistry, energy and just the type of timing that we’re on. For all of us to be on the same page and a step further than last year, I picture a lot of things for us in the future. I’m just excited.”

Story originally appeared on Bears Wire