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Sanborn on leading Bears in tackles against Detroit
Jamie Sabau - USA Today Sports

Sanborn on leading Bears in tackles against Detroit


by - Correspondent -

Chicago’s loss to Detroit dropped them to last in the division. This isn’t a positive note, especially given the fact that the Bears have now given up greater than 30 points in three straight games. But, there is one bright side in the fact that one of the Bears’ rookies is stepping up and making plays on defense. Jack Sanborn went undrafted in the 2022 NFL Draft. But now, he led Chicago in tackles against the Lions with 12.

Sanborn contributes his performance to the positive atmosphere in the locker room.

“It feels good any kind of chance you get,” Sanborn said. “I think that speaks to the guys that we have on the defense, especially the guys we have in the locker room because I’m able to feel comfortable, be myself.”

Since defensive tackle Robert Quinn and linebacker Roquan Smith were traded away, the Bears' defense has not been the same. But, it has given rookies like Sanborn a chance to step up and show what they are capable of. Sanborn humbly gives the credit to the people around him, saying that his performance is a collective effort of the team and the linebacker room.

“I think it’s a collective enough by a lot of people,” Sanborn said. “But, I think it’s the linebacker room from the start. We’re all around each other the most, and we’re in meetings with each other.”

The Illinois native said that he wanted to play for Chicago and be a part of the team. He learned a lot from his fellow teammates at the University of Wisconsin as he was typically behind a number of linebackers and was able to observe what made them successful.

“I’ve been playing linebacker for a long time, and I think all the experience I’ve had and watching guys play the position, I was fortunate enough to be at Wisconsin,” Sanborn said. “Going through there, I was able to kind of see how really good linebackers play the position that were ahead of me.”

He is actually quite the Cinderella story. He went undrafted, ended up playing for the team he wanted to play for in the Bears, and is now having a huge impact on the team since Smith was traded, and Sanborn is stepping up to fill this void. Sanborn explains that sometimes, you just need to reflect on how you got to where you are and take in the moment.

“I think it’s important, and I think it’s something that I kind of learned throughout college. Everyone is very fortunate to be where they are,” Sanborn said. “I think it’s something you got to do from time to time because everyone’s so focused on getting better, winning the game, everything that comes because it’s so challenging. I think taking that three seconds, five seconds, to breathe, soak in the moment, is something that’s important, something that”

Interestingly, Sanborn is not the only defensive rookie that is stepping up. The Bears’ second-round pick out of Pennsylvania State, defensive back Jaquan Brisker, was actually second on the team in tackles against the Lions with seven. This actually is not his highest of the season, as he had nine tackles against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 8 and ten tackles against the Green Bay Packers in Week 2. In addition, he also had his first career interception on Monday Night Football against second-year quarterback Mac Jones and the Patriots in Week 7.

Sanborn, Brisker, and the rest of the Chicago Bears will be facing experienced quarterback Marcus Mariota and the Atlanta Falcons in Mercedes Benz Stadium (12 p.m./FOX). In the history of the series, the Bears have faced the Falcons 28 times, winning 15 of these matchups. The last time the Falcons beat the Bears was in September of 2017; however, the last time the Bears lost to the Falcons in Atlanta was in October of 2009 when Jay Cutler was in his first season with the Bears, and Matt Ryan was a rookie.

The Falcons should provide a challenge for the Bears’ defense, as they currently rank No. 12 in the NFL in scoring offense, scoring an average of 23.2 points per game, while the Bears rank No. 25 in scoring defense, allowing an average of 24.7 points. At the same time, the Falcons also have a poorly ranked scoring defense, allowing an average of 25 points per game.

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