5 Chicago Bears takeaways from Week 12 against the Vikings

Chicago Bears DE Montez Sweat has already proven he was worth every penny spent to acquire and sign him. (David Berding/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears DE Montez Sweat has already proven he was worth every penny spent to acquire and sign him. (David Berding/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Bears
The Chicago Bears defense has heavily improved since the beginning of the 2023-24 NFL Season. (Todd Rosenberg/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Bears had positives to draw from after their Week 12 victory against Minnesota.

2. As a whole, it’s time to give the Chicago Bears defense their flowers.

Look, I know you probably don’t want to hear this, but Chicago Bears head coach Matt Eberflus deserves credit for the defense he calls plays for.

Trust me, I’m far from Eberflus’ biggest fan as head coach. I still find myself groaning when he talks and some of his decisions deserve to be questioned. It’s completely fair to wonder if he’s the guy who should lead this team going forward.

However, we can’t (justly) criticize him while foregoing any good he does. Eberflus has proved why he was a respected name as a defensive coordinator ever since Alan Williams was dismissed earlier this season.

Other than a bad game against the Los Angeles Chargers, the Chicago Bears’ defense has been absolutely balling in recent weeks, especially since the acquisition of the aforementioned Sweat.

Think about the last time the Chicago Bears could have won a game like they did in Week 12 against the Vikings. If your head is screaming 2018, you win a prize.

Their collapse against the Lions late last week shows they are far from a finished product, but the consistent pace at which this unit seems to be improving is an extremely good sign for this Chicago Bears team.

While Eberflus may be getting the most of the players at his disposal, they deserve credit too. I couldn’t feature them all individually, so I’ll rattle off the names of players other than Sweat who could (should?) have a long future in the Windy City.

Jaylon Johnson. TJ Edwards. Gervon Dexter Senior. Tremaine Edmunds. Andrew Billings. Kyler Gordon. Tyrique Stevenson. Jack Sanborn. Terell Smith. These players have all made their presence felt, whether for many weeks, a few weeks, or just one.

A special shout out to Jaquan Brisker, who has had a rough season but had an interception on Monday evening in what one would hope to be a turning point of a game for the young safety.

While there are other players I’d like to see make plays (has anyone seen Yannick Ngakoue?), beggars can’t be choosers. We’ve been forced to suffer through some of the worst defensive football in team history over the past couple of years. It’s about time the cycle came back around.

If the Chicago Bears can continue to play this kind of football, we’re going to be having much different discussions about the win/loss records of particular members of this football team sooner rather than later as long as they stick around.

3. That’s my DJ.

Does anyone else still have imposter syndrome when they look at the Chicago Bears roster and see DJ Moore as your best WR?

Perhaps we earned him through all of the losses we had to suffer in order to afford him, but when you watch Moore play, it’s hard not to feel as if it was worth it.

The impact of DJ Moore is likely impossible to overstate. Similar to Montez Sweat, Moore has been an inarguable multiplier when it comes to the offense. Despite the insanely maddening playcalling of He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named, Moore has been a stud for the Chicago Bears.

After a performance that included 11 catches,114 yards, and the game-sealing catch, DJ Moore is already over 1,000 yards on the season. In fact, it will not take much more production for Moore to plant a flag in the 2023-24 season as the best of his career from a statistics standpoint.

That Moore has been able to accomplish these feats despite his production getting cut in half in accordance with Justin Fields’ injury is impressive, to say the least.

Everyone already knew that DJ Moore was a great football player, but I don’t think he got the respect he deserved before this season. How anyone can view this man as anything less than a legitimate WR1 is beyond me.

Now let’s do him a favor and line up Marvin Harrison Jr. across the field from him. Let the fireworks commence.