Chicago Sun-Times

Bears' defense ready for prime-time vs. Texans, 49ers

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Urlacher pick vs. Titans.jpgAfter a sterling defensive performance that included a franchise-record seventh interception return for a touchdown this season, Bears defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli challenged his players to step it up.

''It doesn't matter how good it is. It's never good enough. That's the mentality,'' defensive end Israel Idonije said.

Even after dominating the Tennessee Titans in a 51-20 rout at LP Field in Nashville, the Bears know they'll have to reach yet another level in upcoming prime-time games against the Houston Texans and San Francisco 49ers.

Both teams will test the Bears' uncanny knack for creating turnovers. The Bears lead the NFL in fumbles forced with 21 (The Patriots are second with 18) and are tied with the Patriots for fumbles recovered with 11 (only seven teams have more than four). The Bears also lead the NFL in interceptions with 17 and turnover-differential with plus-16.

But the Texans have just six turnovers this season. Matt Schaub has been intercepted five times -- with the average return 8.8 yards and the longest return 20 yards. The Texans also have fumbled four times in eight games, losing just one.

The 49ers have been intercepted five times with an average return of 14. 0 yards, but the longest 24. The 49ers have fumbled 10 times and lost four.

''It's not going to get easier,'' idonije said. ''It gets harder. The closer you get to your goal, it gets harder. Teams play you harder. The opposition's level of play increases. So we're ready for that.''

Idonije said that defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli called the outstanding effort by the defense against the Titans ''special,'' but also issued a challenge, as he always does. ''Let's be special again,' Idonije said. ''Coach Marinelli, that's what he preaches and guys went out there and played at a high level.''

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12 Comments

I love defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli's mentality of its never good enough, this unit he's coaching is special. If the Bears can get through their next two opponents the Texans and 49ers, the Bears should be ranked #1 on the power ranking, no questions asked. All I keep hearing is WHO have the Bears really played? Implying that yes the Bears are winning, but winning with a soft schedule. A win over Houston and San Fran will go a long way in answering the "who" have you played questions. I actually hope people keep saying it, its billboard material for an elite defense.

I don't think enough NFL fans really appreciate great defensive play, its like the old NFL adage says, defense wins championships. And make no mistake about it, the Bears are playing championship football right now on defense. As far as yesterday, people forget, the Titans were getting hot in October, October 11th the Titans beat the Steelers, October 21st they beat the Bills, and last week lost in overtime to the Colts. The Titans were no pushovers, even though the Bears made them look that way. Also, newsflash, the game was in Tennesse, and the Bears put up 50 points, I don't care if you play the 0-16 Detriot Lions of 2008, 50 points is 50 points, thats a basketball score for petes sake. Can't wait till sunday night GO BEARS!!

Looking ahead at the Bears' reMaining schedule will give a pause to any wildly cheering at this stage of the season. Minnesota is probably their weakest opponent the rest of the way, and both Huston and San Francisco can give any team fear tremors. Those two games could well tell us if the Bears are for real or just lucky pretenders. Let's hope it's the former.

The Bears are going to drop their next two. The 49ers have the perfect offense to beat the Bears and the perfect defense to stop Forte and just eat Cutler alive. The Bears winstreak is OVER!

Yeah the Bears are a really good team and i am not sayign that VCutler is a bad quarterback but if he gets inspired in the playoff's by the great chicago defense we can beat greenbay and whatever team wins in the AFC because the times have chaged and the NFC dominates football over AFC conference. Tillman, Jenning and Urlacher very great players for the offense we have Marshall, Forte and Hester so yeah this team could win it and serioulsy by the game selits if they beat texans and the san fransico 49's so good luck bears go the super bowl.

Sorry man, the Titans are pushovers. Creampuffs to be exact.

The Bears defense does these things to any team, no matter how good the opposing offense. Even when they played an elite offense like Green Bay this season, they created turnovers and gave them fits. And in the very same game, with all the turnovers by the Bears offense and with that fluke fake fg that went for a TD, the defense still kept them in it.

Expect the same thing from the 'D' against the Texans and the Niners. And expect the special teams unit to show up now that they've gotten their taste of scoring. The big 'if' is of course the offense, but if they can keep from being below average, then we're looking at a team that can run the tables on legit NFL franchises and plunge into a deep playoff run.

Bear Down over and out

Texans and bears are extremely similar. Same records. Dominate against inferior opponets. Both have 1 lose, to green bay none the less. It should be a great match up. it seems like all everybody is talking about is turnovers. So what if the bears don't get them? The texans protect the ball extremely well. and although the bears might have better weapons on the offensive side, the texans have a much better offense. The defenses are both outstanding. Unless special teams exploit the texans, I don't see the bears winning. 24-17 texans will prevail

In the 1st Quarter Jay Cutler is last in NFL in completion% (47.5) & QB rating(37.9) with 2 TD, 4 INT. Schaub is ranked 9th in rating, with 5TD, INT.

Da Bears fans made that Titans game seem like a home field!! Wow! I could hear them chanting onn the TV as if I was there! GO BEARS!!!
LETS GO BEARS!!

Good observations, Mike. I hope and think you are right, but I also think the Bear offense is right on the edge of making life for the defense a lot easier. The running game is looking better, Cutler is gettinng smarter, and the play-calling is beginning to recognize that the offensive line needs help in protecting Cutler.

Cutler has the best QB rating in the NFL when it comes to the 4th qtr...dont forget to post that as well..

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This page contains a single entry by Mark Potash published on November 5, 2012 5:58 AM.

Defensive MVP candidates Charles Tillman and J.J. Watt in Sunday night spotlight was the previous entry in this blog.

Bears fans overwhelm Nashville -- Titans too? is the next entry in this blog.

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