Bears defense isn't concerned about growing old

Scott Boehm - Getty Images

Don't call the Chicago Bears defense old. Call it good. Lance Briggs, Brian Urlacher, Julius Peppers and Charles Tillman are still pulling their weight.

The Chicago Bears defense is loaded with star talent, but most analysts have been saying that the unit headlined by Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs, Julius Peppers and Charles Tillman is getting too old to control games. Through the first four weeks of the NFL season, Bears defenders have enjoyed responding to that notion with their stellar play.

Urlacher, who has been dealing with a knee injury during the first few weeks of the season, offered up his thoughts on the 'aging defense' narrative (via ESPN Chicago):

"Hopefully you would think we're younger than we really are; some of us at least," Urlacher said. "Age is just a number. We play well together, we know where to fit. We've been in the system for a long time. We know where to go, where our teammates are going to be, and it allows us to play faster."

Chicago's defense currently ranks No. 5 in points allowed per game (17.0) and No. 3 against the run (269 yards per game). They lead the NFL in total takeaways with 14, and that number is bolstered by 11 interceptions. Urlacher (34), Peppers (32), Tillman (31) and Briggs (31) are over 30-years-old, but that doesn't mean they can't produce at a high level for another several years. The window for the team to make a deep playoff may stay open a bit longer than most people think, especially with the development of younger players like safety Chris Conte, Major Wright and Henry Melton.

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