A couple of things are beginning to show up each week after looking at Bears game tape.
The negative aspect is that the defense isn't playing the way it has in the past in a few key areas. It may not be long before the "age" factor comes up again, but I don't think that's the issue. Without all the takeaways the unit would be in trouble. The defense is giving up 28.5 points per game, compared to the 17.3 per contest in 2012, meaning there is now more pressure on the offense. And that number would likely be much higher without so many takeaways this season. They have also been more susceptible to the big play.
Offensively, nobody has been more unheralded, but provided more bang for their buck than fullback Tony Fiametta. He's constantly coming up with key blocks, especially in the run game and he doesn't miss. Whenever there has been a big run Fiametta has been involved.
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Staying with the theme of blocking and not to sound like a broken record, but there are no two starting wideouts that block better than Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery. They are not only willing, they are great at it and take pride in the part of their job that most people overlook. Without their efforts, there wouldn't be a single big gainer by Matt Forte this season. On the 53-yard touchdown run in Detroit, Jeffery took out two guys and Marshall put his guy on the ground with a cut block.
The offensive line has been challenged, however it's clear they know their assignments and don't make mental mistakes. Sometimes you just get beat or a scheme gets the best of you.
If the offense doesn't turn the ball over and the defense can start to hold opposing offenses in check and out of the end zone, this Bears team will be in good position. This Sunday against the Saints probably wont be that game, but in the following weeks there will be back-to-back opportunities against the Giants and Redskins to shut down the offenses and go into the bye week in a great position.