Late Sunday night time, inside an exuberant Bears locker room, defensive finish Akiem Hicks admitted he was nonetheless feeling the juice of a 15-6 upset over the Rams, a victory that rubber-stamped the Bears as among the best groups in football. Among the best defenses for sure.
The Rams came to Chicago averaging a quarter mile and 35 points per recreation. They left after managing just 214 yards and six points.
Whether or not Bears defenders had needed to or not, that they had made a serious statement with such a dominant efficiency. Four takeaways. Three sacks.
In prime time. For a nationwide audience. For the entire league to witness.
Together with his adrenaline still pumping, Hicks apologized prematurely for his pleasure. But he had each right to go bragging on his defense.
“Can we feel like we play dominant defense? And can we feel like we ought to be revered and feared by a lot of the league?” Hicks stated. “Sure.”
Asked if such a efficiency would flip heads across the NFL, Hicks laughed.
“I assumed we’d been turning heads,” he stated. “Did we just get good? Last yr, we have been a prime-10 defense. We weren’t stopping there.”
Week after week, the Bears protection has continued to earn its credit score for lifting a lately hapless franchise back into championship rivalry. The significant rewards are coming soon. With yet one more victory, the Bears will clinch their first playoff berth since 2010. And subsequent week, when Professional Bowl rosters are introduced, the Bears determine to be properly-represented.
The invites to Orlando, Fla., shall be given out Tuesday and introduced in a major-time particular on NFL Network. When the Professional Bowl matter got here up early this week at Halas Corridor, Hicks defined why it will imply something to him personally to receive that honor.
“It’s one thing I’ve aspired to realize,” he stated. “It’s one thing I’ve needed for a very very long time. Is it going to happen? Is it assured to occur? No. Have I been shafted earlier than? Sure. Will it harm the same? It for positive will.”
To make sure, Hicks belongs in Orlando. And if he goes, he’ll possible be joined by several teammates. With lower than every week before the alternatives are made, right here’s our snapshot take a look at the Pro Bowl probabilities of the Bears’ seven most deserving candidates.
Khalil Mack, outdoors linebacker
The case for: Across the league, Mack is considered the most effective player of a prime-tier defense. His September arrival has been seen as the match that lit the wick for an already strong Bears defense to blow up the best way it has. Mack’s 10 sacks rank sixth amongst NFC edge rushers. He additionally has pressured six fumbles, tied with Dee Ford of the Chiefs for the NFL lead. Plus, there’s a perception in lots of league circles that Mack’s mere presence has been a significant factor to the emergence of so many playmakers around him.
The case towards: Mack has been to the Professional…