One of the Bears' more pressing offseason weaknesses was their defensive line.
They created the lowest number of sacks in the NFL last season, bringing in a lowly 20 sacks. In today's NFL, that won't cut it. Putting pressure on the quarterback is invaluable and imperative for a defense.
Unfortunately, their shortcoming has translated over to this season, despite personnel changes.
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"This team is ranked dead last in pass rush grade by our system on third downs," PFF's Trevor Sikkema said on NBC Sports Chicago's Football Night in Chicago. "They've got the fourth-lowest total pressures of any team through two weeks when it comes to third down. That's just not gonna get it done. You're going to see numbers, like the ones you mentioned, where the offense is converting at a pretty high clip if you cannot get to the quarterback.
Ryan Poles and the front office didn't hit home runs on the defensive line this offseason. But they hit refresh.
Most notably, they signed Yannick Ngakoue to a one-year contract. Ngakoue has bounced around the league, but his consistency is admirable. Only missing a few games over his venerable career, he's recorded at least eight sacks in every season he's played in the NFL.
Andrew Billings, who recorded one of the Bears' top PFF grades over Week 2, is expected to be a significant figure on the line. Rookies Zacch Pickens and Gervon Dexter Sr. have a lot of expected responsibility, too.
Though, through two weeks, it hasn't looked promising. The Bears made Baker Mayfield look like a superstar during Week 2. Jordan Love --- the quarterback arguably with the most question marks heading into the season --- had all day to throw behind an injury-riddled Packers' offensive line without David Bakthiari in Week 1.
Offense has been the most talked about drawback of the Bears' season, so far. But their defense, specifically the pressure --- or lack thereof --- they put on the quarterback is going overlooked.
Something needs to change.
"When you can really affect the game on third down, that's when you know you got a good defensive line," Sikkema said. "We knew that was gonna be a work in progress for the Bears and unfortunately for them, it still feels like it's a work in progress."