As they've done all season, the Bears continued to generate consistent pressure on the quarterback with their front four in Sunday's 23-6 win over the St. Louis Rams.
With six sacks of quarterback Sam Bradford, the Bears increased their season total to 14. After dropping Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers five times 10 days ago, they have now recorded at least five sacks in back-to-back games for the first time since 2001.
"We're just going in and doing what we practice day-in and day-out," said defensive end Israel Idonije, who tied a career-high with a team-leading 2½ sacks. "Coach [Rod] Marinelli is all about effort and working hard and playing the system. The first three games it's been really paying off, and we've just got to continue to build."
Also recording sacks of Bradford Sunday were tackles Amobi Okoye (1) and Stephen Paea (1), linebacker Nick Roach (1) and end Julius Peppers (½). Four of the Bears' six sacks came on third down and forced the Rams to punt on the next play.
"They did a good job," said middle linebacker Brian Urlacher. "We rushed four guys for the most part, blitzed a couple of times in the first half. Anytime you get pressure with four is good."
The defensive line has accounted for 13 of the Bears' 14 sacks this season.
"I just know they work hard every day and we have good players there and outstanding coaches," said coach Lovie Smith. "I think it's a simple formula. We talked about the flexibility we have on the defensive line where they could all play different positions. It's just not one guy."
With so many pass rushers contributing, the intensity in practice has picked up.
"We are going to dress seven defensive linemen normally and we base it a lot on how they practice each week," Smith said. "They realize that, so you have to have your 'A' game every day to get in position to play these games, and maybe it's just as simple as that."
Last year the Bears only recorded nine sacks in their first five games, even after compiling five in a season-opening win over the Atlanta Falcons.
"We have a little bit more depth," Peppers said. "Guys got better since the last year. We have a good rotation that keeps us fresh, and the end result is seen in the stats."