Last season, Bears defensive tackle Henry Melton finished among the league leaders in sacks at his position.
But his seven sacks didn’t meet his expectations.
“I wanted to go for double digits in my sacks. That’s just a personal goal,” Melton said. “But, if I get double digits, it means the defense is really thriving off of me.”
Melton started this season as he did the last: with two sacks. But, he and the Bears are hopeful that he has better encore performances. Last season, after two sacks against the Atlanta Falcons in the opener, Melton had just one in the next seven games.
Against the Indianapolis Colts Sunday, Melton posted two sacks and also had three tackles for loss, a dominant performance. If not for a two-interception game from Tim Jennings, Melton would have been the clear-cut defensive MVP.
But the Bears have little time to celebrate or rest with Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers coming up on Thursday night.
One thing the Bears could have done better against Colts rookie quarterback Andrew Luck was allowing him to step up in the pocket.
“We’re going to try and get that right for Aaron,” Melton said.
That would be smart; Rodgers is one of the most savvy and talented quarterbacks in the NFL. And while Luck has plenty of upside, he’s not nearly at the level Rodgers is right now.
The Bears will need Melton to keep being an impact player. But, the strength of the offense could help him.
The Bears offense, with a bunch of additions during the offseason, scored 41 points against the Colts.
“We like to pass rush. We like to make the team one-dimensional, [make them] try to play catch up,” Melton said. “That makes it easier on us. It makes it more fun to play.”
The key for Melton will be to stay fresh throughout the season, especially since he’s on the lighter end of his position, weighing 295 pounds.