The Chicago Bears’ big three defenders, Akiem Hicks, Khalil Mack, and Robert Quinn finally played together in Week 2. They showed how they can create havoc on opponents’ backfields.
The Chicago Bears wanted to rejuvenate their pass rush from last season. They recorded 50 sacks in 2018 but that number fell to 32 in 2019. They want that number to go up again this season. Khalil Mack, their all-world edge rusher, only recorded 8.5 sacks, four of them in the last 12 games.
Injuries and poor play by the other pass rusher contributed to the decline in sacks. Pro Bowl defensive end Akiem Hicks only had one sack in just five games played. He injured his elbow and that injury shut down his season.
Leonard Floyd was ineffective on the other side of Mack. He had just three sacks in 2019, two of them against the Green Bay Packers in Week 1. Since he faced only one-on-one matchups he had to put pressure on quarterbacks or else Mack would face multiple defenders. Floyd didn’t so Mack faced double and triple teams on a regular basis.
The Bears decided to cut ties with Floyd and signed former All-Pro rusher Robert Quinn. He’s a proven player and having him and Mack together could cause some damage. Add a healthy Hicks and this is a scary threesome.
Well, the new trio of pass rushers had to delay their debut. Quinn had an ankle injury that forced the Bears to deactivate him for the Week 1 game against the Detroit Lions. He was healthy for Week 2 against the New York Giants, however. The Big-3 made their debut.
The Big-3 had a very good debut
While some fans felt uneasy about how the Giants came close to beating the Bears, the defense actually did a pretty good job. They only gave up 13 points. When a defense does that, it usually ends up in a comfortable win.
The Three Amigos did well in their debut. Each of them recorded a sack. Quinn had himself a really good game. His pressures caused two turnovers. On the Giants’ first drive, he strip-sacked quarterback Daniel Jones and Mack recovered the fumble. On another, his pressure caused Jones to throw before he wanted and Deon Bush ended up with the interception.
After getting credited with six quarterback pressures in Week 1, Mack got another five in Week 2. He has just the one sack, but he’s getting close to the quarterback. At any rate, the pressures are good. He’s forcing opposing quarterbacks to run around and throw before they want.
Of the three, Hicks has the most sacks with two. Additionally, he has eight total tackles, also the most among them. He is the key to helping Mack and Quinn. When he’s doing his job, it requires the opposing offense to send more people his way. That opens things up for the other two. They won’t see as many double teams and both of them are killers when going one-on-one.
The three elite pass rushers have only played one game together and had no preseason games to learn how to adjust to each other. They still did a good job. They’ll only get better from here and that spells bad news for Chicago Bears opponents.