1. The Bears Have The No. 1 Defense (DVOA)
After years of watching playoff football, one thing that holds true each postseason is that having an elite defense can take you to the promised land. And for the Bears, they certainly have a great defense. According to Football Outsiders, the Bears had the No.1 defense in DVOA at -25.6 percent. What is DVOA, you may ask? DVOA is a method of evaluating teams, units, or players. It takes every single play during the NFL season and compares each one to a league-average baseline based on the situation.
According to DVOA, the Bears’ 2018 defense was one of the best in NFL history and the best overall since the 2000 Baltimore Ravens, who won the Super Bowl. Chicago finished the season as the No.1 scoring defense, allowing just 17.7 points per game. Chicago led the league in takeaways (36), the most in the NFL in a season since the 2015 Carolina Panthers (39).
Not only do they take the ball away at a high level, but the Bears also pressure the quarterback at an absurd rate. Chicago finished the season with 50 sacks, which was good enough for 3rd in the NFL. A defense that gets sacks creates the most amount of turnovers in the league and holds teams under 18 points per game seems pretty good if you ask me. The more you dive in, the more obvious it is that the Bears have an all-time great defense. Here are some defensive categories the Bears led the league in:
Opponent Touchdown Drives (28)
Yards allowed on 1st down (4.7 yards)
Total Touchdowns Allowed (30)
Rushing Yards Allowed Per Game (80)
Three-and-Outs Forced (49)
If the Bears advance to the divisional or championship round of the playoffs, they are likely to face some of the best offenses in the league, likely the Los Angeles Rams and the New Orleans Saints. Their elite defense can single-handedly win them games, and we saw that play out multiple times throughout the season. The Bears' defense alone is a reason to consider them one of the favorites to bring home the Lombardi trophy in 2019.