During the 2011 season the Chicago Bears defense faced some of the highest yardage producing QBs in the NFL. Eight of sixteen games against QBs with with passing yard production in the top-10 in the NFL.
Now during the 2012 season, the Bears' defense can't catch a break playing seven games against the top running back in the NFL in terms of yards produced on the season. This includes six straight games against the best runningbacks in the NFL.
The Bears have faced Chris Johnson, Arian Foster, Frank Gore, Adrian Peterson, Marshawn Lynch and again face Adrian Peterson for the second time in three weeks. This while the Bears are trying to position themselves for a playoff run.
In the last five games the Bears defense has allowed 697 yards or 5.2 YPC, and are still 10th overall in the league in rush defense at 103.5 yards per game. The Bears have maintained this level of production despite Brian Urlacher having one good leg to play on.
The question surrounds the Bears defense again, is this defense getting too old? The inability to stop the run of late would seem to indicate as much. Some may even argue that Stepheh Paea hasn't played up to his ability.
Once you consider all the factors it appears that the defense is still playing at a high level. Just like last season when the Bears were 28th overall in pass yards allowed, this year the run defense production is down for two primary reasons.
Obviously I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but the Bears face a clear disadvantage that no other team in the NFL has faced. The Packers and Lions have also faced these same running backs but neither has faced them in back to back weeks. The Bears are the only defense that's faced this challenge over six straight weeks.