Defense Lacking in Sean Desai's Debut

The Bears defense failed to execute the most basic aspects of play in Sunday night's 34-14 loss to the Rams, which was possibly the most shocking aspect of their play in the debut of defensive coordinator Sean Desai.
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Giving up 386 yards Sunday to the Los Angeles Rams offense isn't what seemed so shocking about the Bears defense in their 34-14 loss.

They'd given up more yards five times last year in games under former defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano.

It's just the way they did it which seemed so out of character for them in the debut of defensive coordinator Sean Desai. Blown assignments, big plays by the Rams and complete gaffes, like failing to touch down a receiver who caught a pass and fell to the turf were the order of the night. 

Basically, it was elementary, basic mistakes and they are the kind successful defenses in the NFL rarely commit against any opponent. Carelessness seemed the best way to put it.

"It just that we've just got to honestly come out and get better," linebacker Roquan Smith said. "We know what hurt us so it's about addressing it this week in practice because we know it will come again next week."

The Bears allowed a ridiculous 12.3 yards per attempt to Matthew Stafford and it all started with a blown coverage on a double move over the middle to Van Jefferson that went for a 67-yard touchdown. Eddie Jackson failed to touch Jefferson down to the turf after he'd fallen, and he merely got up and ran into the end zone.

A 56-yarder after halftime to Cooper Kupp when he got behind slot cornerback Marqui Christian and no one was back deep resulted in a huge score. Tight end Tyler Higbee hurt the Bears with a 37-yarder when he was behind Smith in what looked like another mistake in coverage somewhere in the scheme.

"I don't too much into finger pointing or anything like that," Smith said. "There's always little communication things here and there but that's what you practice for and that's why you go out each and every week and why you try to eliminate those things."

The Rams had three straight touchdowns coming out of halftime after the defense seemed to steady itself for almost a quarter following a huge sack from Akiem Hicks.

The Bears gave up 6 of 11 on third downs, a terribly high 54.5% conversion rate, but the big plays were more the problem.

They had Christian at slot corner and Duke Shelley inactive for the game, and all through training camp it appeared Shelley had the starting nickel spot. In fact, Christian didn't even make the 53-man roster and had to go through waivers before the Bears brought him back and then he ended up playing 75% of the snaps.

"I got to get with Sean and watch the tape and see the why, see who it was because they had too many," Nagy said. "You can't give those big plays up for touchdowns."

There also seemed a real problem at times with the Bears secondary at tackling in general.

"It definitely doesn't sit well," Smith said. "We know that's not our style. So we know we have to come in this week, we all have to look ourselves in the mirror and we just have to get better from it because that's not the standard and we've got to keep the standard the better."

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