Dangerous (D-)end games

933925.png

Dangerous (D-)end games

The Bears currently have three ends and one defensive tackle with four or more sacks through eight games. Last year they had four through 16 games, including tackle Amobi Okoye who is now on the bench after being beaten out by Nate Collins.

Defensive end Israel Idonije has four now; he had five all last season. Corey Wootton has four; he had zero in 2011.

This all takes on added significance next Sunday when the Bears face the Houston Texans, who have allowed quarterback Matt Schaub to be sacked just 10 times. Only Eli Manning (eight) has been sacked fewer times among starting quarterbacks.

Defensive tackle Stephen Paea continued his impact playmaking with a half-sack shared with Idonije. Paea also collected two tackles and a quarterback hit, and he has had a sack, tackle for loss, solo tackle or quarterback pressure, sometimes more than one from the group, in every game this season.

Paeas sack gave him 1.5 for the year, serviceable for a nose tackle, while three-technique Henry Melton has 4.5.

Paea collapsed the center of the Tennessee pocket into quarterback Matt Hasselbecks lap but he was more impressed by the outside rush that has gotten steadily stronger. Julius Peppers has 5.5 sacks, Idonije four, Corey Wootton four after one of Hasselbeck on Sunday, and Shea McClellin 2.5.

Our D-ends are just beasts, Paea said, shaking his head. If we can get some push in the middle, we know that those guys are going to drive the quarterback into us and leave him nowhere to go.

Carl Edwards Jr.'s special tie to Memorial Day

Carl Edwards Jr.'s special tie to Memorial Day

For Carl Edwards Jr., Memorial Day has a special meaning.

That's because the Cubs reliever has a very close tie to the armed services. 

Edwards met his fiance, Nette Smith, before her deployment in Afghanistan. Throughout her active service, Edwards kept in touch by writing her letters. Their relationship eventually blossomed, and now the couple has a one-year-old child. 

With Smith's army commitment finished, she views Memorial Day as a time to appreciate all those who serve. 

"To me, Memorial Day is a day set aside for me to remember some of the people I have met who sacrificed everything," Smith said. 

Watch the couple's entire story in the video above. 

Morning Update: White Sox power past Tigers; Dodgers sweep Cubs

Morning Update: White Sox power past Tigers; Dodgers sweep Cubs

Here are the top Chicago sports stories from Sunday:

Stranger than fiction: Dodgers sweep Cubs as Lester vs. Kershaw doesn’t live up to expectations

Miguel Gonzalez throws six perfect innings as White Sox take series against Tigers

Joe Maddon has no choice but to ignore the noise and put his faith in young Cubs lineup: ‘If you want to freak out, freak out’

Two days out, White Sox already excited about facing former teammate Chris Sale

Fire midfielder Dax McCarty named to U.S. national team roster

Jose Abreu relishing opportunity to help mentor Luis Robert, White Sox newest Cuban addition

How patient will Cubs be with Ian Happ and the rookie learning curve?

Takuma Sato holds off Helio Castroneves to give Andretti another Indy 500 win

Sky continue early season struggles in loss to Sun

Honda Road Ahead: Cubs offense looks to build off showing against Clayton Kershaw