When Bears nose tackle Eddie Goldman started against the Lions in Week 4 after missing the first three games with a knee injury, he knew there would be some rust. It was his first regular-season game since the 2019 season after opting out of the 2020 season because of concerns over the coronavirus.
As it turned out, there was a little more rust than he thought. As Goldman — one of the best nose tackles in the NFL — played more, the Bears’ run defense actually became worse. The Bears were 20th in rushing yards allowed and 16th in yards per carry without Goldman. Five games after Goldman returned, they dropped to 25th and 25th.
“He wasn’t back,” defensive line coach Chris Rumph said. “Sometimes you just hear the name and think the name is enough. As you find out, he wasn’t totally back. And then he had other guys injured, so those guys were never really able to groove together.”
But against the Steelers in Week 9, Goldman reemerged as the force he used to be. He was dominant against the run as the Bears mostly stifled the Steelers’ ground game — 32 carries for 105 yards and a touchdown in a 29-27 loss. In fact, after Najee Harris scored on an easy 10-yard run in the first five minutes of the game, the Steelers had 79 yards on 28 carries (2.8 average).
That’s the Goldman Effect. Finally.
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