2018 Chicago Bears defensive takeaways offer shades of Lovie-era defense

Embed from Getty Images

Former Bears head coach Lovie Smith used to have goal for his defenses: win the turnover battle. Smith wanted at least three takeaways, and he offered some statistic — of which I can’t remember — that correlated with higher win percentage. Smith’s defenses were annually at or near the top of the league in takeaways.

The 2018 Bears defense is already off to a hot start. Aside from leading the league with 14 sacks, the Bears also are second in takeaways with 8.

As Dan Wiederer in the Chicago Tribune writes:

The Bears led the NFL in fumble recoveries last season with 14 and are off to a solid start again in 2018. Their third came Week 3 in Arizona with [Danny] Trevathan making [a] recovery on Khalil Mack’s strip sack of Sam Bradford.

“I can’t give you that recipe yet,” Trevathan said when asked whether he has a secret for recovering fumbles. “That’s the secret sauce. It’s all about getting on the ball and then just holding onto that ball.”

By no coincidence, the presence of Khalil Mack has aided the Bears defense in generating takeaways. The pressure he has put on quarterbacks — with the assistance of his teammates — has led to five interceptions and an NFL-leading 7 forced fumbles.

Continue reading: ‘The secret sauce’: Early takeaways prove the legitimacy of the Bears defense

Former high school and college kicker. Lifelong Chicago Bears fan. I've been writing about the navy blue and burnt orange since 2007. You can follow BearsBeat.com on Twitter, like it on Facebook, or email me.