Chicago Bears vs. Carolina Panthers: Defensive grades

(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Bears
Chicago Bears /

Linebackers: A

More than ever, I lament the loss of Jerrell Freeman. Why? Because Danny Trevathan, outside of a blip in Tampa Bay and his suspension, has utterly dominated.

While others get more press on this defense, Trevathan (four tackles, one sack, one INT) was no less than the third-best player on the field yesterday. Since returning from his suspension, he’s played like a possessed man. He now has a sack in two straight games and picked off Cam Newton to seal the win.

And his counterpart, Christian Jones, played so well yesterday that Nick Kwiatkoski didn’t need to set foot on the field despite being active for the first time in four weeks. Though Kwiatkoski should eventually regain the starting spot, they can afford to ease him back for now.

Remember when Leonard Floyd started going off last season around the time Pernell McPhee returned to the lineup? We might be seeing Part Two of that scenario.

Yesterday, both hunted Newton with reckless abandon throughout the day. Both had a sack, with McPhee registering three QB hits and Floyd wrecking people like an angry bull.

Floyd still needs to show a bit more discipline in finishing plays, but his athleticism clearly helped offset Newton’s ability to run the football.  He ran Newton down from behind on a couple of occasions and helped force the game-sealing interception with late pressure as well.

Bears fans have been wanting Vic Fangio to turn Floyd loose for a while now. Well, here he comes. And McPhee is coming too.

If they can both stay healthy and play at this level consistently, abandon all hope, opposing offenses.