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The Bears have lost four straight games for the third consecutive season under Matt Nagy. There have been a number of contributing factors, including the offense’s struggles, but there have been others.
During the Bears’ four-game losing streak, the defense has managed just one takeaway, and that doesn’t seem like a coincidence.
Takeaways have been a point of emphasis for the Bears defense since the 2019 season, as evidenced most recently by defensive coordinator Sean Desai’s attempt to use a Takeaway Bucket as a means for motivation.
While the Bears were able to sack Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger four times in Monday’s loss, they failed to produce a takeaway for the third time in the last four games.
“We talked all week about getting turnovers and takeaways, protecting and respecting the football,” head coach Matt Nagy said earlier this week. “No takeaways on defense and special teams we lost that fumble. The good thing is we ended up with that big score, which was good … Cam Heyward made a great play on the three-step tipped pass. We knew he did it all year long and made a nice tipped-pass interception, so that was big. Good play by them.”
Chicago’s turnover differential went from +2 to -3 during the four-game losing streak, which was impacted by Justin Fields’ five turnovers against the Buccaneers. But the Bears defense’s lack of takeaways hasn’t helped.
Heading into the final eight games, the defense will be looking to reverse their misfortunes in the takeaway department. But it won’t be easy against some talented offenses, including the Ravens, Cardinals, Packers and Seahawks.