Danny Trevathan’s award caps off a memorable week for the Bears’ defense
CHICAGO – Sometimes players don’t hear about the accolades they or other players in their locker room receive. That was the case Wednesday at Halas Hall when the media made their way to the locker of Khalil Mack.
One of the first reporters there informed him that his teammate, Danny Trevathan, was named the NFC’s Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts in the win over the Seahawks on Monday night.
“Baller. Baller man,” is what Mack said when he heard the news.
Then he turned his head towards Trevathan’s locker to congratulate him.
“CONGRATS DANNY!” shouted Mack towards his locker.
Perhaps it’s fitting that it went down that way in front of the cameras, for it was Mack’s efforts that started and Trevathan’s honor that ended an incredible Week 2 for a Bears’ defense that’s catching some national attention for their efforts in a win over the Seahawks Monday night.
It wasn’t one player, but rather many who had their signature moment in the first victory of the Matt Nagy era.
“It just shows that we have that family mentality. Guys make jokes about it, but we’re all trying to be that person out there,” said Trevathan of the defense. “I could happen to any one of our defensive players.”
That’s true, though it’s Trevathan’s team-high eight tackles, two sacks, and forced fumble that was recovered by the Bears that earned him the honor. His big play came late in the game, but it was his teammate on the outside that got things going.
Relentless pressure from Kahlil Mack caused multiple issue’s for Seattle’s line that as overwhelmed by the Bears’ pressure in the first half. Russell Wilson was sacked five times in the first half, the most dramatic coming in the second quarter when, despite being hugged by a blocker, the linebacker managed to get his hand on the ball and knock it out of Wilson’s hand.
It was recovered by Seattle, but once again the newly acquired linebacker managed to set the tone early for a second-straight week.
“You definitely consciously work on it,” said Mack of trying to strip the ball from the quarterback, which he also did in Week 1 against the Packers. “That’s something you want to preach throughout the whole defense, getting the ball back to the offense. Creating a short field is a great feeling, and you feel even better when you score yourself.”
Mack got the chance to do that last week, but this week that honor went to another Bear who waited his whole career to make it happen.
Prince Amukamara jumped a Wilson pass in the fourth quarter and returned it 49 yards for his first career interception touchdown. It was also his first interception as a member of Bears and his first since he was a member of the New York Giants in September of 2015.
“It feels great. Like I said earlier, it’s been three years and first pick six ever,” said Amukamara of the interception touchdown. “It was great selfishly, but collectively, I’m glad it helped out the team. It was a huge play in the game and I’m just glad I was able to make it for our team.”
Trevathan would then close it out with his strip sack of Wilson later in the fourth. It was the last big play in a night full for them for a defense that currently is tied for first in the NFL in forced fumbles. For a defense that cracked the top ten in points and yardage in 2017, it’s a strong start to their goal of being the top unit in the NFL.
“That’s what they pay us the big bucks for,” said Trevathan when asked if the defense is strong enough to take the Bears to the playoffs for the first time since 2010. “On defense, we’re all lined up together, we’re all a family, be believe that we can hold it down. The offense is doing their thing, we already know they can get that rolling and there’s going to be fireworks out there.
“On the defensive side, we know we’ve got to hold our side, have the offense’s back, and go out there and be the best defense on the field.”
Outside of one bad second half in Green Bay, that has been the case. Monday was an encouraging sign that it could continue.