The Chicago Bears evened their record at 1-1 this season with a 20-17 win over the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday afternoon. The effort was spearheaded by a Bears defense that forced four Bengals turnovers and never let their offense get going until it was too late. The Bears’ defense forced Joe Burrow into three interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown by Roqian Smith, which proved to be the game-winning score for the Bears. Angelo Blackson and Jaylon Johnson also chipped in interceptions of their own and Tashaun Gibson recovered a fumble by the Bengals to help the cause. The Bears defense also forced a turnover on downs to unofficially bring the turnover total to five.
This is the type of defensive performance that Bears’ fans have been waiting for since 2018 when the Bears defense was a turnover-causing machine and provided a dynamic complement to Matt Nagy’s offense. The defense pitched a shutout in the first half and it was needed, as, after a game-opening touchdown drive, the Bears’ offense sputtered most of the rest of the game. The Bears pass rush disrupted the Bengals game plan for most of the day as Khalil Mack, Robert Quinn, Bilal Nichols, and Roquan Smith all registered sacks.
If Andy Dalton’s injury that he sustained in the first half causes him to miss significant time, or the Bears choose to move forward with Justin Fields anyways, the Bears’ defense may need more performances like the one today as Fields acclimates himself to the NFL. The question will be is if this performance was an aberration or a sign of things to come for the rest of the season.
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