Chicago Bears defensive rookies laying foundation for future success

Chicago Bears (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /

Sunday afternoon was a homecoming for Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields, who has been on a tear lately. As the Bears took on the Atlanta Falcons, all eyes were on the second-year quarterback to continue his breakout.

Fields had a solid outing, overall, despite being roughed up quite a bit. But, beyond the buzz around Fields, it was yet another Bears loss on the season — which we expected many of.

Falling in a close one, 27-24, the Bears defense continued to bleed off and on. The unit isn’t near a finished product, and won’t be until Ryan Poles is done working his magic in the 2023 offseason.

However, there are already some impressive pieces on this Bears defense — and some young ones, too, who are improving each week.

The Chicago Bears defense has a bright future thanks to three specific rookies that continue to improve.

In this game against the Falcons, three of the top four tacklers, for Chicago, were rookies. Leading the way with 11 tackles (seven solo) was safety Jaquan Brisker, who also finished with a tackle for loss and a forced fumble.

Brisker was, yet again, all over the field as he has been throughout the season. He’s been one of the better defensive rookies across the NFL this year, but has not gotten the notoriety he deserves because of how bad the defense has been as a whole.

Right below Brisker, in this game, was undrafted linebacker Jack Sanborn with a total of nine tackles (eight solo). The former Wisconsin Badger continues to prove he was foolishly left without his name called during the seven rounds this past spring.

Sanborn has played so well that he looks to be locking down that middle linebacker role for the foreseeable future. He’s made some excellent plays over the past three weeks, almost reminiscent of some former Bears middle linebackers who are now in Canton.

Lastly, rookie cornerback Kyler Gordon was fourth on the team in tackles with seven (four solo) and a tackle for loss. Gordon has been a great story over the course of the season because, there’s no way he could have started the season on a worse note.

Right out of the gate, Gordon was horrendous. He had an all-time bad game in prime time against the Green Bay Packers which left fans wondering if the stage was too big.

Against Atlanta, though, Gordon made two back-to-back solo tackles in one series that popped off the screen. They were rock-solid plays by a rookie who has completely turned his season around after starting so poorly.

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The defense, as a whole, has not been good. There are some gaping holes, particularly on the defensive line. However, the Bears should feel great about these three rookies and how they’ll continue to grow and fit into the future success of this unit.