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Data: Numbers Prove Pairing Cutler with Top Defense Will Yield Winning Team

| July 11th, 2016

Another guest column from the artist known as Data.

Every offseason (and throughout most seasons) there’s a lot of talk amongst Bears fans about whether or not the Bears can win with Jay Cutler as their quarterback. Today I’m going to attempt to answer that question by looking at Cutler’s peers around the league.

I identified five players who are, statistically speaking, Cutler’s peers: Carson Palmer, Matthew Stafford, Eli Manning, Joe Flacco, and Alex Smith. Including Cutler, these six quarterbacks all have started at least 90 games, thrown at least 3500 passes, and posted passer ratings between 83.5 and 88.1.

Basically, they’ve all been around for a while performing, as a whole, at an average to above average level.

Cutler is smack dab in the middle of the group with 134 starts (3rd), 4354 passes (3rd), and an 86.0 passer rating (2nd).

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2016 Bears Defense Could Make Buddy Proud

| July 1st, 2016

CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 1: Pernell McPhee #92 of the Chicago Bears celebrates after a sack during a game against the Minnesota Vikings at Soldier Field on November 1, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. The Vikings defeated the Bears 23-20. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

“QB’s are over-paid, over-rated, pompous bastards and must be punished.”-Buddy Ryan.

For the first time in a number of years, the Bears have a chance to have the kind of defense that would make Buddy Ryan proud. They finally have a number of players who can, and should, get to the quarterback.

The Bears’ sack totals since they stopped running Ryan’s defense are a bit depressing. They’ve finished last in the league in sacks more than they’ve finished first and haven’t topped 50 sacks in a season since 1987. This year, however, they have a legitimate chance to top that mark and punish opposing quarterbacks.

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Key for Bears Fans When it Comes to 2015 Defense: Managed Expectations

| August 5th, 2015

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The Bears have one of the best defensive coordinators in the league, but he alone won’t make the defense respectable.

No team upgraded any position more than the Bears did by replacing Mel Tucker with Vic Fangio. Tucker is one of the worst defensive coordinators in the history of the league and Fangio is pretty good. That’s a huge jump, but it might be the only jump they made. You could argue that the team’s talent level is about the same as it was the last two years.

Yes, they added Pernell McPhee to pressure the quarterback, but they also lost Stephen Paea (six sacks) and it would be a surprise if Willie Young had anywhere near the same impact he had a year ago, registering ten sacks. Is that a net positive for the Bears?

 

The secondary is still a disaster.

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Why the 2014 Chicago Bears Are All About Setting the Stage for the 2015 Edition

| July 30th, 2014

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NFL fans have the patience of my orange boy cat (named Bear, pictured above) once he knows his wet food has been moved from the can to the plate. There’s a lot of walking in circles. His sweet-tempered meow morphs into a more desperate, restless MEOORRRRE. He is so hungry for a taste of what he knows is so close he is unable to control himself.

Telling an NFL fan training camp and the preseason are meaningless is the equivalent of placing Bear’s plate on the ground and then holding him ten feet away. Telling them what I’m about to tell them, that 2014 is but a stepping stone to the mountaintop, will elicit more than a MEOORRRRE. It’ll end with my blogging hands scratched until blood is drawn.

2013’s edition of the Chicago Bears established a new direction under the leadership of Marc Trestman and excommunicated the old direction (Lovie) and leadership (Urlacher). It was only an 8-8 campaign but for a fan base desperate for big league offense it left even the most pessimistic fan with a firm understanding the arrow is pointed in the correct direction.

2013, coupled with Emery’s 2012 offseason, were the first step in what Pat Riley calls  “the innocent climb.” Here is a publisher’s summary of that notion:

The innocent climb is the surge that occurs within a team as they are accomplishing more because of the synergy that occurs within a team. Innocence means understanding that the team comes first and being carried along by that; being naive means being ignorant. Innocence doesn’t mean being naive. Teamwork and all of its benefits happen when everyone puts the team first. innocence comes when the leader believes in something and puts him or herself out to accomplish that.

Climbing innocently began with the establishment of this new direction and the building of a new identity. But something funny happened on the way to Soldier Field. Trestman and Emery were successful at a more rapid rate than expected and produced a championship-caliber offense in the first year of this new program.

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An Additional Sentence (or Two) on Each Defensive Performance Against the Ravens

| November 19th, 2013

postBefore we completely turn our attention to the St. Louis Rams, a few additional thoughts on the Bears defense after a re-watch of the ballgame. Here’s one sentence on every guy.

ZACK BOWMAN

Bowman is not the best coverage corner around but Sunday he displayed the secondary’s best closing speed to the ball and surest tackling.

JON BOSTIC

Bostic is a sideline-to-sideline monster who can cover the deep middle but his major flaw as a young player is an inability to shed blocks.

CHRIS CONTE

Baltimore ran the ball on two of their final three plays in regulation and both of those runs were stopped due primarily to the efforts of Conte. He is starting to piece together something of a coherent safety. I’d also add that Conte had PERFECT coverage on Dallas Clark when Clark converted fourth-and-four with three minutes to go in regulation. Clark’s special catch prevented Conte from being celebrated as a hero.

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