Bears' pass rush brings the heat, and it shows in win Sunday
Bears outside linebacker Robert Quinn had two sacks all of last season.
He has nearly matched that total already this season with 1.5. In Sunday's 20-17 win over the Cincinnati Bengals, Quinn notched one sack. He had a half a sack a week earlier against the Los Angeles Rams.
Quinn's early sack Sunday was a sign of good things to come.
The Bears sacked Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow four times. In addition to Quinn, outside linebacker Khalil Mack, defensive tackle Bilal Nichols and inside linebacker Roquan Smith all recorded sacks.
Quinn faked out Bengals left tackle Jonah Williams in the first half, planted his right foot like he was heading right, then burst left. He found a wide-open lane to Burrow. Mack and Quinn were working on the same side on that play.
"(Defensive coordinator Sean Desai) had the call and me and (Mack) had our call and we just went to work," Quinn said. "He called it. So we'll give credit to him."
The Bears didn't line up Quinn and Mack on the same side of the pass rush very often in 2020. That appears to be a new wrinkle thrown in there by Desai.
"When you've got a guy like (Mack) there, their eyes get kind of big," Quinn said. "And then I guess when I go beside him, now they have to really figure out a game plan."
The Bears defense also created four take-aways, including three interceptions. That was pretty much the difference in the game.
Smith had one of his best games, with eight tackles, a sack and an interception return for a touchdown. He found Burrow on his sack after surprising the Bengals and blitzing through the line untouched.
"He's just a phenomenal player, man," safety Tashaun Gipson said of Smith. "He can run like a (defensive back), hit like a linebacker. He can cover like a DB. I don't have enough good things to say about Roquan."