The Bears have significantly improved in limiting big plays by their opponents, especially in their secondary. However, their recent loss to Cleveland showed that there’s still work to be done. Initially ranking among the bottom three for allowing explosive plays in the season’s early weeks, they’ve made progress, now standing at eighth for permitting fewer pass plays of 20 yards or more and fifth in curtailing explosive runs. Overall, they’re tied for the fewest explosive plays allowed, as per analyst Arjun Menon’s count.

Nevertheless, the Bears’ defense faltered during Sunday’s crucial fourth quarter, conceding five significant receptions, including a 57-yarder to former teammate Marquise Goodwin and a 51-yard touchdown to Amari Cooper. Defensive coordinator Eberflus dissected the defensive lapses, highlighting the need for better vision and tackling in crucial moments.

Despite this, the Bears received positive coverage grades from Pro Football Focus, with notable performances from players like Tyrique Stevenson and Jaylon Johnson. Linebacker Tremaine Edmunds also emphasized the importance of minimizing explosive plays, echoing the team’s dedication to this defensive approach.

The addition of Montez Sweat has bolstered the pass rush, resulting in the Bears ranking second in the league for limiting explosive plays. Edmunds praised Sweat’s impact not only on the field but also in terms of leadership and energy, foreseeing further improvement as Sweat becomes more acclimated to the team’s system.

The consensus remains: minimizing big plays is crucial for the Bears’ success, and the continued integration of players like Sweat is expected to further fortify their defensive prowess.

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