Joniak’s Journal: Lovie Wants Bears Defense To Get Even Greedier
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By Jeff Joniak
It looks like the Bears have an “offensive” defense once again.
Five defensive touchdowns during a three-game winning streak has electrified the unit and changed the complexion of games. That Lance Briggs and Charles Tillman combined for four in six days to pocket a pair of road wins is nuts.
Briggs and Tillman — both drafted by the Bears in 2003 — have now scored 14 times. Tillman’s eight is a franchise record. His 32 interceptions matches Donnell Woolford’s total for third all-time in franchise history. Tillman is within striking distance of Gary Fencik’s all-time franchise record of 38.
Tillman is arguably the biggest playmaker at cornerback the Bears have ever had. Briggs had not scored since 2005. Now, he’s done it twice in six days.
Thirty defensive touchdowns have now been scored in this defensive system since 2004, in 26 games, leading to 21 wins.
It’s an eye-opener.
Consider that the Bears defense has scored as many touchdowns as they’ve given up in five games and as many rushing touchdowns as the Bears have scored in 2012.
That 38-point second half by the Bears is the biggest scoring explosion since 1941. Do the math. It’s a span of 999 games!
Repeat: Nine hundred, ninety-nine games!
Making quarterbacks pay for their errant throws or tipped passes is back in vogue. The defensive line is speeding up the decision process of the quarterbacks. The back seven is taking advantage of it in a big way.
And sure enough, Coach Lovie Smith only sees this as a start to what this unit can ultimately accomplish. He asked for more forced fumbles and fumble recoveries Monday.
“It’s a big thing around here,” said Smith. “How many caused fumbles have we taken away? We haven’t seen many of those.”
Smith is greedy when it comes to taking the ball away. He demands his defensive thieves to do whatever it takes to make the play.
And these Bears are meeting his demands in a very big way.
Jeff Joniak is the play-by-play voice of the Chicago Bears on WBBM Newsradio 780 & 105.9 FM. You can follow Jeff on Twitter @JeffJoniak.