Dannehy: Eberflus Defense Can Be Productive Without Pressure

| June 15th, 2023

Much of the current discussion regarding the 2023 Chicago Bears has been about the need to add another pass rusher. While that certainly would be nice, Eberflus has already shown us he doesn’t need a great pass rush to have a productive defense. Do the Bears certainly need to get after the quarterback better than they did in 2022, when they managed an abysmal 20 sacks and pressured quarterbacks on just 15.9 percent of drop backs, ranking 32nd and 31st in the league? Of course. But the truth is, Eberflus never had a great pass rush in Indianapolis and still managed to produce quality defenses every year.

In his four seasons as the Colts defensive coordinator, the team never ranked better than 18th in pressure percentage (per Pro Football Reference) or 12th in sacks and were never worse than 18th in scoring defense or 16th in yardage. The key to Eberflus’ defense is takeaways, something he has managed to do annually despite not getting pressure.

The Colts were top ten in takeaways every year Eberflus called their defense. In his final season in Indianapolis, they were second in takeaways, despite ranking 31st in pressure percentage and 25th in sacks. Even last year, the Bears did a good job taking the ball away, finishing 14th in the league, despite their inability to breath on opposing quarterbacks.

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