Leonard Floyd had the type of game Sunday against the Packers that the Bears envisioned when they traded up to select him with the ninth pick in the 2016 draft.
The outside linebacker recorded six tackles, two sacks, two tackles-for-loss and three quarterback hits in the Bears' 24-17 division-clinching win at Soldier Field.
"He was everywhere," said coach Matt Nagy. "Talk about relentless—and it started with the very first play of the game. He had a great game, and you like to see that."
Floyd stopped running back Aaron Jones for a 1-yard gain on Green Bay's first play from scrimmage. Late in the first half, the third-year pro tackled running back Jamaal Williams a yard short of a first down on a third-and-two run, forcing the Packers to punt from their own 11.
The Bears followed by scoring a touchdown on Mitchell Trubisky's 12-yard pass to Tarik Cohen, increasing their lead to 14-3 with :30 left in the half.
Floyd later sacked Aaron Rodgers twice in the fourth quarter. The second one resulted in an 18-yard loss after the Packers had reached the Bears' 9 in the final minute.
"Leonard showed up and showed out," said fellow outside linebacker Khalil Mack. "[He's a] special dude on the other side. I knew it was going to take both of us getting after [Rodgers]. It was good to see."
Floyd has excelled since recovering from a broken hand that limited his effectiveness early in the season. In his last seven games, the 6-4, 251-pounder has registered 22 tackles, four sacks, seven tackles-for-loss and an interception that he returned 19 yards for a touchdown in Buffalo. In the first seven games, Floyd recorded 17 tackles, no sacks and one tackle-for-loss.
"He had to be patient with himself because you could start pressing in those situations when the numbers aren't there but you know that you're helping out the way you're playing," Nagy said. "Sometimes the numbers things can get out of whack just because you don't have the sacks. But it's starting to turn up now.
"You're starting to see more numbers from him, but to me he's still flying around, doing everything. He's practicing hard. I don't think he's pressing anymore; not that he was a lot before, but I think that it was in the back of his mind that he didn't have any sacks. But now he's just playing ball, and that's what we need."