The Bears’ defense — hampered by injuries and using stop-gap solutions across the board — came out and played with a purpose on Sunday in defeating the Detroit Lions, 17-14.
With prized free agent acquisition Danny Trevathan out, rookie Nick Kwiatkoski got the start at inside linebacker and flashed some potential. Safeties Adrian Amos and Harold Jones-Quartey held down the deep portion of the field, not allowing the Lions’ leading receiver, Marvin Jones Jr., to take the top off the defense. Amos and Jones-Quartey also continued to be strong in run support and kept walloping any Lions player who touched the ball in their vicinity. Veteran defensive lineman Akiem Hicks had his first sack as a Bear and was disruptive at the line of scrimmage.
Bears rookie outside linebacker Leonard Floyd left the game with a calf injury and did not return. And rookie cornerback Deiondre’ Hall recorded his first interception of the season.
There was a lot to be happy about from the defense’s performance, despite the fact that the Lions aren’t world-beaters. They were aggressive and physical, put pressure on quarterback Matthew Stafford, picked him off twice, and held the Lions offense to just 263 total yards and two field goals — with the lone touchdown coming off a punt return.
If the Bears can use this game as motivation and build off its success, they just might be able to remain competitive until they get reinforcements back from injury.