I’ve talked a ton about the offense, mostly because that side of the ball has been where everyone has been focusing lately. Do not discount the contributions of this defense, however.
The competition was not great obviously, but the Bears did come in with a quarterback (Brian Hoyer) playing pretty efficiently and some interesting receiving options (led by Alshon Jeffery) to throw to against a secondary which has struggled massively with health and effectiveness.
It didn’t matter; the defense shut them down.
Hoyer was mostly ineffective before being knocked out of the game with a broken arm, and his backup (Matt Barkley) was much worse as Chicago only completed 10 passes on the night. Jeffery was targeted 11 times, but only came down with three of those for a mere 33 yards; outside of him, nobody else caught more than two passes, and the team only converted two pass plays over 15 yards. Along the way, the defense came away with two interceptions of Barkley as well.
The run defense also got back into their pre-Dallas form for the most part, holding Chicago to 69 yards on 18 rushes. This kind of effort is what had the team looking like one of the best ever against the run through four games — and more of this sort of performance will be much-needed in upcoming games against teams like Atlanta and Tennessee.
The efforts in both facets were led by guys from all levels of experience. Rookies like Blake Martinez and Kenny Clark punished the Bears’ rushing attempts (with Martinez also getting one of the team’s two INTs).
Second-year man LaDarius Gunter recovered from his worst game of the year to be key in holding Jeffery to his underwhelming showing. Nick Perry added another sack to his pressure-filled contract season, and Clay Matthews was able to once again make an impact beyond just being on the field. Behind their (and really, basically everybody taking defensive snaps in all-white uniforms) efforts, we saw Chicago score a pitiful 3 points with their offense.
While the Green Bay offense continues to work towards finding a sustainable gameplan in the coming weeks, the defense has shown us once again they should be a force to be reckoned with.