Chicago Bears vs. Carolina Panthers: Defensive grades

(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /
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chicago bear akiem hicks
(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

Defensive Line: A

As long as Akiem Hicks and Eddie Goldman stay healthy, the Chicago Bears will continue to have one of the best defensive fronts in the league.

That’s it. End of story.

What these two guys are doing to opposing teams’ interior offensive lines is simply devastating. Hicks (five tackles, two TFL, one sack) absolutely cannot be single-blocked, and if teams try, someone is about to get destroyed.

How many 330-pound guys get six sacks not even halfway through a season the way he’s doing? He’s headed for a First Team All-Pro spot at this rate.

Goldman is far exceeding their requirements of his job at nose tackle. You see, he isn’t just blowing up plays so that other people can clean them up. He’s blowing up the play and finishing it himself on a regular basis (six tackles, 0.5 sacks).

Also, the Bears have gotten some much-needed production on the other side of the line, especially from Mitch Unrein and Jonathan Bullard.  While I certainly prefer Bullard and Roy Robertson-Harris, Unrein (three tackles, 0.5 sacks) has given the Bears a bit more than steady veteran presence of late.

And Bullard, after lying dormant for a good portion of this year, had four quarterback hurries in 38 snaps yesterday. If the Bears can get him woken up, this line could go from one of the best to the best in the NFL.

Hopefully, the Robertson-Harris injury isn’t that serious. Because if this line stays healthy, especially Hicks and Goldman, this kind of dominance could happen week in and week out.