For Bears, Success is Entirely About Two Modes of Protection

| September 18th, 2012

Here’s a fact and it’s borderline indisputable. When the Bears protect their quarterback and their quarterback protects the football, they win. And since 2010, the numbers prove that theory accurate.

The 2010 Chicago Bears lost 6 games. Below is the team followed by the number of sacks and interceptions in the games.

  • Giants. 10 sacks. 1 interception.
  • Seahawks. 6 sacks. 0 interceptions.
  • Redskins. 4 sacks. 4 interceptions for DeAngelo Hall.
  • Patriots (in blizzard). 2 sacks. 2 interceptions.
  • Packers (last game of year). 6 sacks. 2 interceptions.
  • Packers (NFC title game). 2 sacks. 3 interceptions.

The 2011 Chicago Bears lost three games with a healthy Jay Cutler.

  • Saints. 6 sacks. 0 interceptions.
  • Packers. 3 sacks. 0 interceptions.
  • Lions. 3 sacks. 0 interceptions.

The 2012 Chicago Bears have lost one game. Remember it?

  • Packers. 7 sacks. 4 interceptions.

First off, the teams. Cutler has lost 10 starts since the beginning of 2010 and 4 of them are to the Green Bay Packers. Second, just look at the numbers. The only loss the Bears have suffered since 2010 wherein they didn’t have either 3 sacks allowed or 3 interceptions was a game where they had 2 of each and it was played in a goddamn blizzard. (Believe me, I was there.) They didn’t throw more picks or get sacked more in the second half of the blizzard game because it was impossible to throw the ball.

I can hear some of you now. “Oh wow, Jeff, great information. If you protect the quarterback and don’t throw picks you win? Shocker.” And you’d be right. But the surprising thing for the Bears is they don’t lose games ANY OTHER WAY since 2010 with a healthy Jay Cutler. In none of their Cutler-started losses since 2010 have the Bears been blown away by an opposing offense. In none of their Cutler-started losses since 2010 have they lost on a fluky special teams touchdown. This group of offensive linemen, led by this quarterback, have a signature method to their maddening madness: they allow folks to hit the quarterback and he throws the ball to the other team.

So one has to wonder because that’s what one does. What would happen if Jay Cutler started tossing the ball over to the sidelines and into the stands? What if Jay Cutler, every time he sensed the line giving way or receivers unable to separate from defensive backs, just ran to his right and chucked into the seats? Just a thought. Moving on.

The Bears have issues. Two of them. They struggle to protect the quarterback. The quarterback has football protection low on his priority list. Everything else facing this team is borderline inconsequential. Struggling pass rush? So be it. Antiquated defensive scheme? Poppycock! Protect the quarterback. Protect the football. Win.