The Chicago Bears defense forced a fumble on their first play of the game on Sunday, setting a theme for the day against the Tennessee Titans.
The Bears would go onto force six fumbles, create five turnovers and score a defensive touchdown for the seventh time this season. Chicago now has 28 takeaways this season, the most in the NFL. Bears head coach Lovie Smith said the defense was in a frenzy against the Titans.
Chicago's ability to force fumbles, led by Charles Tillman who forced four on Sunday, is especially impressive when you consider the Titans took extra time at practice to specifically work on ball security. Titans quarterback Matt Hasselbeck said Tennessee coaches warned about protecting the ball against Tillman and the Bears, but it didn't matter.
As if creating the turnovers wasn't enough, the Bears defense scored for the seventh time this season, on a 46-yard interception return by Brian Urlacher. The seventh defensive touchdown of the season is tied for the third-most in NFL history and Chicago still has eight games remaining. Linebacker Lance Briggs said the defensive touchdowns have become contagious.
"Right now, it's contagious," Briggs said, according to ESPN.com. "Guys see other guys get in the end zone, and they want to get in there too."
The Bears defense will face a tougher test next week against the Houston Texans.