The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Sports

November 19, 2013

Defense keeps improving

LAKE FOREST, Ill. — Julius Peppers wreaked havoc again.

David Bass and Jonathan Bostic became the first set of Chicago Bears’ rookies to record interceptions in the same game in 24 years, and the defense continued to show signs that’s it’s coming together despite being ripped apart by injuries.

That was one of the most encouraging developments for Chicago in Sunday’s 23-20 overtime victory over Baltimore.

Now, the Bears are once again tied with Detroit for the NFC North lead at 6-4 and right back in the thick of the playoff race after they appeared to be on shaky ground.

They were coming off a loss to the Lions that gave Detroit a two-game sweep and had dropped four of six. Then, they had to wait out about a two-hour rain delay and put in extra time on the way to a much-needed win over the Ravens.

A big chunk of the credit goes to a defense that was ineffective at the start of the season and got hit hard by injuries. But while players have been going down, confidence appears to be on the rise with a game at St. Louis coming up Sunday.

“It grows, because I see what we’re doing in practice,” coach Marc Trestman said Monday. “I see the work that’s being put in. I stand behind the defense during their periods, and I see the run fits getting better, the communication getting better. I like the fact that our coaches are embracing the development of our young players. We’re not spending time thinking about the loss of some of the players that we’ve lost. We’ve taken all that energy into building the best defense we can to play good team football.”

The Bears have struggled against the run and were having trouble getting to the quarterback, even before all the injuries started to pile up, but in some ways, it was a different story against the Ravens.

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