Comparing Bears defenses under Lovie Smith and Marc Trestman

Comparing Bears defenses under Lovie Smith and Marc Trestman
November 29, 2013, 5:15 pm
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CSN Staff

By Paul Roumeliotis

Lovie Smith's offense never reached the top 15 in nine seasons as the Bears head coach, but his defenses were quite the opposite.

In Smith's first year with Chicago, the Colts defeated the Bears 41-10 in Week 11 at Soldier Field. It wasn't until 2008 before his defense gave up more than 40 points again. But despite allowing 41 to the Vikings in that '08 contest, the Bears put up 48 of their own and pulled out a victory in Week 6 at home.

The following season in 2009, Jay Cutler was acquired to become the team's starting quarterback. In Week 7, Cutler threw three interceptions in Cincinnati as the Bengals went on to win 45-10. Two weeks later, the Arizona Cardinals defeated the Bears 41-21 at Soldier Field. In those two games, Carson Palmer (Bengals) and Kurt Warner (Cardinals) each threw five touchdowns to zero interceptions for their respective teams.

[MORE: No antagonism between 'O' and 'D' with Trestman Bears]

But this season, the Bears have had all sorts of struggles to keep points off the board.

Through 11 games this season, all three 40+ games have occurred on the road and resulted in a Bears loss. In Week 4, the Lions defeated the Bears 40-32; in Week 7, the Redskins put up 45 points to the Bears' 41; in Week 12, the Rams won 42-21.

On the offensive side, the Bears never lost while scoring 40+ points in the Lovie Smith era (9-0) while Trestman is 1-1 in his first season.

In Week 3, the Bears defeated the Steelers 40-23 in Pittsburgh, a game in which the Bears had two defensive touchdowns. And of course, the loss against the Redskins was headlined by Cutler's exit in the second quarter due to a groin injury. 

Granted, the Bears have been dealing with injuries on both sides of the field this year, but do you prefer a defensive-minded coach or an offensive-minded one?