Following the Bears' disappointing loss to the Detroit Lions on Monday Night Football, veteran Chicago linebacker Brian Urlacher didn't mince words when evaluating his squad's performance thus far this season.
"We're playing like [expletive], that's what's going on," Urlacher told ESPNChicago. "Defensively, we stink. We stop the run, [then] we can't stop the pass. We stop the pass, [then] we can't stop the run. We're just all over the place."
Despite having a reputation for fielding stout defensive units over the years, the 2011 Bears allowed 395 total yards against Detroit. To make matters more troubing for the Bears' players and fans, the defensive miscues on Monday night -- which included allowing a remarkable 73-yard touchdown reception by Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson in which he shook off two members of the Bears' secondary -- were not the first of the season, not even close.
As the unit has struggled Urlacher has not been shy about voicing his displeasure.
Following the Bears' victory against Carolina last week in which they allowed 543 yards, the linebacker expressed disappointment despite his team winning. ‘‘We played good enough to win. But not up to our standards,’’ he told the Chicago Sun-Times. ‘‘We’ve got to get better every week. We know that."
It seems it only took one week for the Pro Bowl linebacker to downgrade his prognosis of the defense from "Not up to our standards," to "We stink."
Through five games, the Bears have allowed their opponents to gain at least 382 yards on offense each contest -- something that happened just four times against Chicago's defense in 2010.
The Bears will take the field for their sixth game as the 29th-ranked team in the NFL in total defense, but Chicago fans have reason not to completely lose hope -- three of the Bears' five opponents this season (Carolina, Green Bay, New Orleans) are ranked in the top five in the league in total offense.
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