Crunching the numbers during bye week turns out some alarming and also positive results about where the Bears have been heading.

ike with all teams, when there is a break in the schedule the Bears perform self-scouting to a greater extent than usual.

At this point, after two mini-byes and a full bye week, they have to be one of the most self-scouted teams in the league.

“So again, this whole thing, for us, is a self-scout operation here during this week,” coach Matt Eberflus said. “We’re gonna look at every aspect of o

Rather than looking at 12 games until your eyes are bloodshot, here are some things very apparent about the Bears simply from what the numbers say.

The Wright Stuff

Right tackle Darnell Wright’s Pro Football Focus blocking grade might have slipped over the course of the season but the rookie is still a dependable place to look for running the football. In fact, running it behind right tackle is more than dependable. The Bears rank first in the league running behind right tackle, averaging 6.23 yards a carry according to Of course. They run combination blocks and the wide zone scheme allows everyone to be pulling when they run a particular direction. Still, when you’re the tackle at the point of attack you’re the common denominator to the blocking. To show it’s no fluke on that side, when they run around right end they are averaging 5.45 yards.

ur football team, all the situations, to improve.”

Dead Ends

One chief area of improvement the Bears needed after last year was improving their run defense, particularly on the edge. Teams took advantage of them there. Montez Sweat, DeMarcus Walker and Rasheem Green all were known as stout run defenders on the edge before they got to Chicago. It’s worked, even if they are still last in sacks. The Bears ranked 30th (6.6) in average gain allowed around left end last year and 14th in average (5.7) around right end.

They’re fourth against the run around left end now at 4.35 yards and No. 1 in the league at stopping runs around right end at 3.74 yards. The middle isn’t exactly inviting, either. Last year they were last in the league stopping runs up the middle at 6.21 yards. This year they’re 13th (3.85) so the addition of Andrew Billings at nose didn’t hurt, either.

Guess Again

The Bears offense has been disappointing in a few key down and distances. So maybe they need to start switching up how they attack those circumstances at this point

It could be Justin Fields, the receivers or it could be play design or coordinator Luke Getsy’s call or all of the above.

When they’re in third-and-3 and third-and-4 situations, they haven’t passed well at all and those are situations when they could easily convert to extend drives. On third-and-3 they have a 28.6% conversion rate when throwing and on third-and-4 they have a 36.4% conversion rate throwing with an average gain of only 3.45 yards. They’ve faced 18 pass plays from those situations and converted six times all told in what is a short enough distance where they have to be better. They’re 23rd in the league on third-and-3 and 17th on third-and-4

Considering they are a surprising 10 best in the league at converting third downs (43.5%) overall and how they have one of the best scrambling quarterbacks in the league, you’d think they could at least get a first down on a third-and-3 or third-and-4 with an occasional scramble. Yet, determines Fields hasn’t even tried a scramble on third-and-3 or third-and-4 this year. Last year he scrambled on those down and distances six times and converted five.


Third-and-long is tough ask for any offense. The Bears are not terrible at converting here by throwing and have converted 7-of-32 times when faced with third-and-10 or longer. Broken down, they are fourth in the league on third-and-10 passes at 55.6% (5 of 9) and that’s not bad because it’s fourth-best ranking in the league in those situations. When it gets above 10 yards is when they have less success, as thye’re 2 of 25 conversions on passes. It’s not as horrible as it sounds. 2-of-14 (14.3%) is 19th for plays of third-and-11 to third-and-15. They haven’t converted on a third-down pass longer than 15 yards in 11 tries, but this is no different than a dozen other team

Their best weapon in third-and-long? Of course, it’s Fields scrambling. He has converted 3-of-7 times on third-and-10 or longer including both times he scrambled facing a third-down situation of 11 to 15 yards. The passing game has to be better than to count on scrambles for third-and-long conversions.

Short End

Fields’ short passing has improved drastically to either side of the field after he said at the end of last season he needs to be better on short throws, even if they aren’t converting on third-and-3 or third-and-4 situations passin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *