Chicago Bears vs. Minnesota Vikings: Defensive Grades

(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images) /

Linebackers: B

Inside

What does it say about the Chicago Bears’ linebacker situation that Christian Jones and John Timu started this game for you at inside linebacker?

Now, I must say that their early play surprised me, given that they’re the fourth and fifth linebackers, respectively. They pursued the ball well and played downhill, with Timu blowing up a screen just before Leonard Floyd‘s safety.

And then, Timu naturally got injured, bringing Jonathan Anderson into the game. Jonathan Anderson. I’m pretty sure that’s the sixth inside linebacker on this team.

He definitely played like it on this run. Neither he nor Jones seemed to agree on what the play was, then they both subsequently executed…nothing.

That’s the perfect recipe for Jerrick McKinnon to start running all over you. Man, maybe we should be thankful Dalvin Cook is injured, or this could’ve been really ugly.

Fortunately, the Bears get Trevathan back Sunday and hopefully won’t miss either Nick Kwiatkoski (pec) or Timu for too long. Any good news for this linebacking corps works.

Furthermore, I find myself wanting to see a bit more of Timu, especially if Kwiatkowski can’t go. He’ll never be a great NFL player, but he looks markedly better this year in terms of finishing plays than last year.

Anyway, you just can’t have enough linebackers on this team, apparently.

Outside

Okay, I know that Mike Remmers kind of sucks at right tackle, but man, you had to be happy watching Floyd just run rampant all over him. He officially racked up two sacks and forced a holding penalty—something he should’ve drawn more of this year.

Now, the safety-sack did come as a bit of a gift from Sam Bradford, who held the ball for 10 years in his own end zone for reasons unknown. After a while, you expect someone to get him.

That said, you have to make the plays when they’re in front of you, and Floyd did. Maybe this game will serve as a turning point for him.

However, much like the Hicks situation up front, the Chicago Bears aren’t getting much opposite Floyd.

Pernell McPhee doesn’t look like the same guy and might not last with the Bears beyond next season given his inability to stay on the field. Ditto Willie Young, though if he walks, it might have more to do with his age and scheme fit.

Look for the Chicago Bears to address this early, and potentially high, in the draft next season.