Against Washington on Monday Night Football, the Monsters of the Midway turned in yet another dominant defensive outing in a commanding 31-15 road win. It was a well-rounded team effort, as the offense finally began to click and the defense generated turnovers at a high rate.
In the contest, the Bears managed to churn out five takeaways, holding Washington to under 100 total offensive yards in the first half.
There were several standout performers from defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano’s unit, including Khalil Mack, who continued to be a cheat code on the field with two sacks and two forced fumbles. Danny Trevathan also enjoyed himself a superb outing with eight total tackles and a sack of his own.
However, perhaps nobody’s performance was as impressive as Bears new starting safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.
The Alabama alum was dominant in this one in his first trip back to the nation’s capital to take on his former team. Clinton-Dix picked off Redskins quarterback Case Keenum not once, but twice, taking one the distance for the first pick-six of his career. It wasn’t just his lockdown coverage that set him apart in Week 3, but also his contributions in the tackle department, leading the team with nine stops.
It was clear and obvious that Clinton-Dix was all over the field.
Heading into 2019, Clinton-Dix was coming off a down year after being shipped away from the division-rival Packers to the Redskins halfway through last season. In 2018, he flamed out in Washington. While he managed to notch 95 combined tackles between the two teams (second-most of his career), he didn’t intercept a single pass for the ‘Skins and was burned by opposing wideouts often.
This wasn’t entirely his fault playing on a poor pass defense but led his time in Washington to an end, nonetheless.
Many forget: Clinton-Dix is a former first-round pick by Green Bay back in 2014 and already has a Pro Bowl under his belt. It’s no surprise why general manager Ryan Pace took a chance on him in free agency, luring him to a minuscule $3 million contract with just $500,000 in guarantees.
Still just 26 years old, it was anticipated that a change of scenery onto the league’s best defense could pay dividends for Clinton-Dix. If Monday’s game was any indication, it’s done just that.
Looking back at Monday’s performance, Clinton-Dix’s premier playmaking skills were on full display. On several accounts, he just seemed to be at the right place at the right time. On his first interception that he took to the house, the ball-hawking safety took full advantage of a Case Keenum overthrow.
Unsatisfied with anything but a score, he had his eyes glued on the end-zone the entire time.
— Path's End Gambling (@PathsEndGamblin) September 24, 2019
His second takeaway of the contest was almost just as impressive. While it looked like an easy interception, don’t be fooled. As The Loop Sports’ Dan DeYoung points out, Clinton-Dix was able to sniff-out the seam route by Redskins’ tight-end Vernon Davis right from the snap, putting himself in position to make a nice play on the ball.
— Dan DeYoung (@DanDeYoung80) September 24, 2019
After Clinton-Dix’s coming-out party with Chicago, fans will soon forget about Adrian Amos, who the team let walk this offseason in free agency. It definitely lessens the sting of watching Amos intercept Mitch Trubisky to seal the game in Week 1 for the Packers, and appears the Bears will be getting the last laugh (HaHa).
Through three games, Clinton-Dix has compiled 17 tackles, two INT, two passes defended, and a TD. Amos? 13 tackles, one INT, one passes defended, and zero scores.
So far, so good.