In the week leading up to the Bears-Rams showdown on Sunday night, all the talk was about if the Bears dynamic defense could matchup against a Rams offense that has dominated all year long.
Four interceptions later, the answer was clear. This Bears defense doesn't scare easy. Not in primetime. Not against the winningest team in the league. Not against Rams quarterback Jared Goff, who entered the game with 27 touchdown passes and just seven interceptions this season.
The last time Goff threw more than two interceptions in a game was in 2015 during his final college season. On Sunday night, the Bears defense pressured him into four picks en route to a statement 15-6 win.
After the two teams traded field goals in the first quarter, the Bears defense jumped all over Goff in his first snap of the second quarter. Goff dropped back off a shotgun pass just in front of the Rams' own end zone, but the Bears defensive line forced a tight pocket and Goff had to get rid of it. He darted a wobbly ball over the middle of the field where linebacker Roquan Smith scooped it up at the 26-yard line and returned it 22 yards for his first career interception.
Smith — who hasn't had an interception since high school — said the focus after last week's loss was getting back to the basics.
"We just had to get back to our fundamentals and trust our technique," Smith said in an ESPN interview after the game. "The way we prepared throughout the week, we knew it was going to be a challenge for us, but the guys love challenges and it was a great outcome."
The pick set up another Bears' field goal to take a 6-3 lead.
The quarter ended the same way it started. With less than 10 seconds left in the half, Goff dropped back at midfield and slang a Hail Mary attempt toward the end zone. This time, it was safety Eddie Jackson who leapt up to make the pick to bring the half to a close.
In the second half, the Bears cranked up the intensity even more. After a safety and a three-and-out on their first two series of the half, Goff and the Rams offense looked to flip the momentum after their defense picked up an interception of their own.
Instead, on the first snap after the pick, cornerback Kyle Fuller read Goff's pass perfectly and cut in front of intended receiver Josh Reynolds for his league-high seventh interception of the season.
Fuller now has an interception in three straight games, but he was quick to credit the defensive line for giving the secondary opportunities throughout the night.
"It's our job just to get in position," Fuller said. "If we do that it gives [the defensive line] time and it just works all together."
Finally, with less than three minutes in the action, veteran cornerback Prince Amukamara got into the action as the Rams tried to make one last try at a comeback. On a fourth-and-10 last-ditch effort play, Goff tossed a ball deep to the left side of the field toward receiver Robert Woods. Amukamara stepped up in the secondary and swooped in for the interception, the 10th of his career.
"We understood the challenge that we would have," Fuller said of the Bears' mindset going into the game. "But we challenged ourselves just to go out there and show what type of defense we can be, and I think we did that today."