Data Responds: Falcons at Bears

| September 10th, 2017

  • Yea Chicago’s defense had a solid day overall. They held a team that averaged 34 points per game last year to only 23, and kept them in check for most o the game.
  • That’s going to be their recipe for success this year, and it’s the reason they were in this game.
  • With that said, the defense still showed issues on 3rd down. It was especially bad in one 4th quarter sequence, when 3 straight 3rd downs ended with an 88 yard TD, a 40 yard completion, and a penalty for a 1st down. Good defenses have to be able to get off the field on 3rd down. To their credit, they did have a few big 3rd down plays earlier in the game, including a run stuff on 3rd and 1 to hold Atlanta to a field goal and a batted pass on 3rd and medium to force a punt.
  • That 88 yard touchdown on 3rd down was particularly brutal. It looked like Matt Ryan was about to be sacked, then he had somebody uncovered down the field. The defense looked confused pre-snap, and somebody should have called a time out.
  • Quintin Demps missed a tackle on that 88 yard touchdown, and also missed a tackle for loss on 3rd down in the first half that would have forced a punt and instead turned into a 1st down conversion. He also may have blown the coverage on the long touchdown. To put it mildly, it was not a good debut for the veteran free agent who was supposed to stabilize the back of the defense.
    Another area where the defense needs to improve is forcing turnovers. They came close on a few passes today, but weren’t able to finish the play. Forcing turnovers is the difference between a good defense and a great one.
  • One area where the Bears’ defense excelled was in run defense. Atlanta ran it 22 times for 65 yards, only 3.0 yards per carry. That would have been the worst mark in the NFL last year, when the Falcons averaged 4.6 yards per carry, good for 5th in the NFL.

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But You Told Me the Season Was Over: Bears Over Niners Rapid Fire Recap

| September 15th, 2014

Marshall 2

Just a spectacular, improbable victory for the Chicago Bears in San Francisco.

  • If Charles Tillman’s season is over, and his eyes certainly told that tale, I don’t want to discuss it. I have made it clear Tillman is my favorite modern Bear as both a football player and man. For his Bears career to end with successive season-ending injuries isn’t right. He deserves better.
  • But I’m pretty sure Kyle Fuller is the real deal. I can’t remember the last performance by a young Bears defender that elicited so much hope for the future.
  • You know who played well last night? Shea McClellin. Maybe it takes a few weeks to learn an entirely new position.
  • Chris Conte’s interception is the reason he’s so frustrating as a player. You can’t make that play if you’re not a superb athlete with football instincts.
  • Here’s something I am starting to think. Brandon Marshall is the second best offensive player in the history of the Chicago Bears. (This will be a full column midweek once I’ve thought through the idea.)
  • Hey look, the Bears just dropped another pass.
  • Hey look, Bears special teams just committed another penalty.
  • Time to give Chris Williams a look as return man. Senorise Perry may be headed down Micheal Spurlock way.
  • Jay Cutler’s numbers don’t tell the story of his game. He was excellent throughout.

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