As disastrous as the third preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs was for the Bears, it is important to note that it wasn’t all bad. In particular, I have done my best to point out that the defense wasn’t nearly as bad as it appears.
A good part of the reason why Kansas City moved the ball so well was that they flat out executed almost as efficiently as it could be done. They simply played a great game offensively. Short, quick passes are hard to stop when that’s the case and all you can do is be patient and wait for a mistake. Former Bears head coach Lovie Smith made a living doing that in Chicago with a passive cover-2 defense that worked reasonably well for as long as he was here. But if teams like the Chiefs refuse to make mistakes, look out. You are going to have a problem as a defense almost no matter who you are.
The second factor that needs to be accounted for is that the offense completely hung the defense out to dry. They held the ball for only 8 minutes in the first half, leaving the starting defense in a state of exhaustion by half time.
A look at the game showed me one Bears defensive iimprovement that is a very, very positive development. They are playing much faster than they did last year and, as a result, they appeared to be much more aggressive. Defensive tackle Will Sutton agrees.
“We’ve got a couple more guys who are more familiar with the scheme this year, including myself and [linebacker Lamarr] Houston, who obviously got off to a slow start last year.
“But we do have a lot more guys in position who are more familiar with the defensive scheme. So it allows you to fill a bit faster, a little more confidence.”
Everyone in the Bears front seven was faster to the ball than we saw last year, especially in defense of the run. And where that happens, good things will follow.