(670 The Score) Former NFL executive and current Audacy Sports football insider Michael Lombardi doesn’t believe the Bears’ defensive struggles in their 34-14 loss to the Rams on Sunday in their season opener was a blip on the radar.
He believes it’s much more likely to be a sign of what’s to come.
“You have to be honest with yourself,” Lombardi said on the Mully & Haugh Show. “The biggest concern that I had going into the Bears’ season – everybody was focused on quarterbacks. I kept saying, ‘Are they any good on defense?’ They might be the most overrated defense in the league.
Everybody thinks they’re good on defense, but are they? I think that’s the fundamental question that Bears fans have to ask. Before you unravel the quarterback mystery, are they good enough to win defensively? And I think what you have to do as an organization is before the season starts and certainly after the first game is sit down and say, ‘How do we play a game to win the game? Like what do we have to highlight our strengths? What are our strengths?’ And then formulate a game plan around that. We just can’t go out and play. They’re just not as good defensively. Khalil Mack is not the same player that he was when he came to Chicago. They don’t have the same pass rush that they did. They can’t control the game with the defensive front. I mean, you give up 34 points in 24 minutes, what are we talking about here? So I think that’s really where you have to focus.”
The Rams amassed 386 yards of offense and averaged 7.7 yards per play, a figure that was 8.3 before they kneeled the ball down three times in the final minutes.
Lombardi added coach Matt Nagy and the Bears need to “find some balance” and run the ball a bit more. Listen to Lombardi’s full interview below. It starts shortly after the 16-minute mark.