LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — The Chicago Bears didn’t strike fear into opponents, even with three-time quarterback Robert Quinn and star linebacker Roquan Smith.
After trading both last week, things could get even tougher.
The Bears agreed to send Smith to the AFC North-leading Baltimore Ravens on Monday, the day after The Dallas Cowboys crushed Chicago’s defense in a 49-29 game.
A person with knowledge of the situation confirmed the deal. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the move was not announced.
The trade came after Smith and the Bears were unable to reach a new deal with the contract he signed after the Bears drafted him No. 8 overall in 2018 expiring after the season.
Smith held out for the first few weeks of training camp, during which he attended meetings and practices but did not participate in drills. He accused new CEO Ryan Poles of bad faith and asked to deal with him.
On Monday, Smith, the NFL’s leading tackler, got his wish. The Bears traded away their top pass rusher on Wednesday when they sent him away Quinn to Philadelphia for a 2023 fourth-round pick.
An offense. The Bears have scored 62 points in their last two games. They move the pocket and cause more designed wounds for quarterback Justin Fields. But the running game as a whole is getting a big boost as David Montgomery and Khalil Herbert play their part.
“Everybody’s supportive,” said Herbert, who rushed for 99 yards. “Our coaches only buy into the fact that we want to run the ball. I mean, receivers, tight ends, everybody can do it, so just the identity of it and everything is based on the running game and Justin being able to play kicks and receivers downfield. So just feel like buying into that mentality helps a lot.”
The Bears averaged a league-leading 188.4 yards on Sunday after rushing for 240. It was their third straight game of 200 or more, the first since a 7-9 week in 1968 since Hall of Famer Gale Sayers .
WHICH IS NOT
Protection. Whether it was a hangover from the Quinn trade or just poor execution, the Bears gave up a season-high 442 yards and allowed the Cowboys to convert nine of 11 third downs. The Monsters of the Midway continued to struggle against the run as Dallas rushed for 200 yards.
“We’re building on what we’re doing well right now,” said coach Matt Eberfluss, who spoke Monday before news of the trade broke. “We play good pass defense. We pick up the ball. We’re doing a lot of good things, but what we need to improve on is defense. We have to improve our run defense. We have to improve situational football, third down and the red zone.”
QB Justin Fields. The mistake after the failed Montgomery that led to Dallas Micah Parsons returns the ball 36 yards for a touchdown aside, Fields stepped forward again. He completed 17 of 23 passes for 151 yards and two touchdowns while posting a career-high 120. He also ran for 60 yards and a score. In last Monday’s win at New England, Fields threw for 179 yards and a touchdown and ran for 82 yards and another score.
CB Kindle Vildor. It’s hard to single out one person given how poorly the defense played overall. But Wildor was outplayed several times in coverage by CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup.
The Bears did not announce any injuries during the game.
156 – The Bears are allowing 156 rushing yards per game, second only to Houston. The Texans are giving up 186 per game.
With Smith and Quinn gone, the Bears will look to contain one of the NFL’s premier offenses when they host Tua Tagovailoa and the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.
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