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Is Chicago still an elite fantasy defense?

Updated: December 5, 2006, 11:46 AM ET
By Jason Langendorf | ESPN.com
I've mentioned it before in this space, and it recently has become a sticking point for league observers who don't like handing out the Lombardi Trophy in early December: Chicago's defense has some issues against the run.

Not major issues, mind you. The Bears still rank a semi-respectable 12th among league rushing defenses, and their front seven is among the fastest and deepest in football. Only one NFL team has allowed fewer than the five rushing touchdowns given up by Chicago.

But something has changed since the team's Week 7 bye, at which point the Bears had allowed an opponent to run for 100 yards only once in six games and had yielded just a single rushing TD. The damage in their following six games: five 100-yard outputs, four rushing TDs and 137.2 yards allowed on the ground per game. The matchups tell some of the story -- none of those first half-dozen opponents currently ranks among the league's top 12 rushing clubs. Still, the Jets (No. 17) rang up 108 yards on Chicago in Week 11, two weeks after Miami (No. 27) had gashed the Bears for 161.

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