On Monday Night, the Bears' defense literally flexed on the Redskins


LANDOVER, MD. – Nick Williams said it all on the final play of the game. 

As the clock wound down on the Bears’ 31-15 win, the defensive lineman broke through the line, beating Redskins guard Brandon Scherff on the way to the Bears’ fourth sack of quarterback Case Keenum. Williams then popped up and flexed both his arms – all the while standing on the midfield logo – for what seemed like an eternity, as a post-game scrum of players and coaches filled the green space around him. 

On a night that featured the four sacks, five turnovers, and eight QB hits, it’s only fitting that we can literally say that the Bears flexed on the Redskins. 

“It was a great team win,” cornerback Prince Amukamara said. “On the defensive side, we wish we had closed a little better. But that’s what Tuesday and Wednesday are going to be for, and then we’re going to have to get ready for the Vikings.” 

Having five turnovers in one game was never something the Bears accomplished in 2018. Safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix had the team’s first pick-six of the year midway through the first quarter, and would add another interception later in the second quarter. It was the first touchdown of Clinton-Dix’s life. 

“Being a part of this team, we emphasize scoring,” Clinton-Dix said. “We don’t care about catching the ball – we care about scoring. That’s the mindset on defense.” 

After setting all sorts of records in 2018, takeaways had been hard to come by through the first two games of 2019. The defense had none in Week 1’s loss to Green Bay, followed by only one (Kyle Fuller INT) the next week in Denver. 

Four quarters later, the Bears’ are now tied for the third-most turnovers (6) in football. 

“We knew it was coming,” linebacker Danny Trevathan said. “We just didn’t know when, how many, whatever. We just knew we had to execute, and make the plays when they came our way… it’s fun when you’re having fun together, making plays together, and you get the dub.” 

It'd be underselling the dominant defensive performance to not mention Khalil Mack, whose jaw-dropping performance – especially in the first half – felt much like his debut against the Packers at the start of 2018. On Monday night, Mack recorded two sacks and forced two fumbles all on his own. The Bears recovered the second one deep in Washington’s half of the field, setting up the offense for an easy score to extend the lead to 21-0. 

“You get a defense that gets you the ball and you capitalize offensively on short field position, good field position,” guard Kyle Long said. “That’s the definition of complementary football." 

“Any time you have five turnovers and you only turn the ball over one time, that’s a plus-four ratio, you’re going to win a lot of football games that way,” Matt Nagy said. “I don’t care what the other stats are, you’re going to win.”

Whether it’s Mack’s fumbles, Clinton-Dix’s interceptions, or Williams’ sacks, the Bears' defense – at least for one night – didn’t look like they were headed for regression any time soon. 

“You get a turnover, you get a pick, you get a sack,” added Trevathan, who had a sack of his own. “It’s kind of like Oprah.”

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