Big-Play Bears Defense Resurfaces in Win over Giants
Deon Bush could talk. He just made the first interception of his career.
"We like that pressure on us as a defense," Bush said. "We've gotta rise to it if we're gonna be a top defense in this league."
Bush's first pick on a pass intended for tight end Evan Engram thwarted a Giants scoring opportunity from the 29-yard line in the second quarter on a Sunday when the Bears defense made a statement about its poor play in the opener in a 17-13 victory.
Being called on to protect the lead in the final seconds put the pressure on the Bears defense for the second straight week.
"Obviously we could get better," Bush said. "It's a lot of things that we could work on and every day in practice we go hard and every week we try to hold ourselves to a standard, so we would never be happy with the way that we played overall, but I feel like a lot of guys put some good effort out there today and we definitely can get better going on in the season."
Bush couldn't be criticized for an interception, but he did have one regret. Eddie Jackson, Kyle Fuller and Co. were hollering for Bush to lateral it before he was tackled. They had an opportunity for a big return.
"I heard them behind me a little too late," Bush said. "I was gathering myself, about to pitch it, but then I got tackled. Hopefully I get better on return skills on the next one."
The defense had several other big plays and almost had another intreception and a touchdown on this one but a late flag for pass interference on Eddie Jackson negated a 54-yard return for a TD.
The other big plays occurred early courtesy of the Big Three in the Bears' pass rush. Akiem Hicks had a sack for the second straight week, while Khalil Mack had a sack in the fourth quarter and recovered a fumble caused by Robert Quinn's strip sack. That one set up a second-quarter field goal.
"I mean, he took off the line and got a sack I think on the first third down, the first series of the game," Hicks said. "A talent like his isn't to be taken lightly in this league. He's somebody that can come off the edge with such ferocity and speed that, you know, he changes the math for the offense.
"They got to figure out a way to stop him, then Bilal (Nichols), then Roy (Robertson-Harris), then Mack, you know what I mean? So he was a great addition to our team and we look forward to letting him loose more often."
Barkevious Mingo made a sack as well, as the Bears had four total sacks.
Only the late charge the Giants made irritated the defense as they held the Giants to 295 yards total but allowed 13 second-half points and a final drive to the 10-yard line. Eddie Jackson saved the day by stopping a pass to long-time Bears nemesis Golden Tate at the goal line.
Tate shoved off for an offensive interference penalty on the play as time expired.
"The motivation is to win by any means necessary," Bush said. "Everybody has plays that they wish that they could have back in the drive, but at the end of the day, ultimately, we got the stop and we got the win. That's our main goal every week."