Earlier today, Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs spoke with the 49ers media on a conference call and he had some great comments about cornerback Charles Tillman. Briggs was asked about the team's strong ability when it comes to forcing turnovers. The Bears are dominating in that category and getting a lot of points off those turnovers. Charles Tillman leads the way with seven forced fumbles and two interceptions.
When asked about Tillman, Briggs called him the best stripper in the NFL, and made a point to say he's been making money off his stripping since college. There was laughter in the background of the call, so it's safe to say Tillman or other teammates were listening in on the call. And Briggs was definitely enjoying himself with the comments.
All jokes aside, the Bears defense brings some serious talent and significant production to the table. The 49ers built their 2011 offense on avoiding turnovers and getting great field position from the defense and special teams. This year, the offense is taking more chances, which has led to more interceptions by Alex Smith. At the same time, those chances have paid off a decent amount. The 49ers offense is consistently starting in worse field position due to fewer defensive turnovers and a decline in special teams performances, but the offense is producing at a greater rate.
Alex Smith is making progress back from his concussion, and the odds are improving that he will make his way back onto the field this Monday to face the vaunted Bears defense. The monsters of the Midway appear to be back in form, ranked by Football Outsiders as No. 1 overall, No. 1 against the pass and No. 3 against the run. FO ranks them number two in defensive drive success rate and tops in interceptions/drive and second in fumbles/drive.
I think it is safe to say the 49ers best be keeping an eye on the ball and focusing in on ball security when they meet the Bears this Monday.