THAT DARNED STAT
- Bears are currently 7th in yards allowed per game (309) and 5th in passing yards allowed (189.8). Considering the lack of consistent pass rush and deficiencies in secondary personnel, these are remarkable statistics.
- The ten teams leading the league is total rushing attempts are a combined 13-27.
- Turnovers remain the most important stat in the sport. Not a single team in the top 12 in turnover differential is under .500.
IT IS PERNELL MCPHEE’S DEFENSE
From a nice piece by Brad Biggs in the Tribune:
Outside linebacker Pernell McPhee has been the best player on defense by a wide margin through the first quarter of the season, and he came up big Sunday in a 22-20 victory over the Raiders at Soldier Field.
Sure, quarterback Jay Cutler returned after missing one week with a hamstring injury, but the offense was still missing wide receiver Alshon Jeffery and left tackle Jermon Bushrod, and McPhee more or less admitted the feeling was the defense was going to have to deliver for the Bears to snap out of their 0-3 funk.
He took the lead on Saturday night by gathering the entire team at the hotel and having all 53 players lock arms. What was the message?
“What we just did,” McPhee said. “That’s the message. When we lock arms, we’re going to win. We’ve got to make sure them arms stay locked the rest of the season. I think we can do damage. That’s what it’s about. Us playing as a brotherhood and us going out there fighting for each other.”
McPhee has been nothing short of a revelation on defense through the first quarter of the season. From Adam Jahns in the Sun-Times:
To quote “The Blues Brothers,” Bears outside linebacker Pernell McPhee is on a mission from God, and he wants to know who is coming with him.
“I’m on mission; that’s the my emotion,” McPhee said.
“Playoffs. Win. Turn it around.”
SIX THOUGHTS FROM AROUND THE LEAGUE
- Many analysts thought Brandon Weeden would be able to steer the ship for Dallas until Tony Romo’s return. But Brandon Weeden is, in fact, terrible. And he’s about to lose three more games to go with his first two as the Cowboys host the Pats, go to the Giants and host Seattle. At 2-5 the Cowboys season could be dead.
- Wait, you mean Chip Kelly’s system isn’t good enough to win in the NFL without good players? No way! Kelly inherited a terrific group of skill guys from Andy Reid and promptly threw each of them in the trash. Systems don’t win in the NFL. Players do.
- No Discipline & Poor Quarterback Play: The Rex Ryan Story.
- Yes, he’s worked with no quarterback and now a rookie quarterback. But Lovie Smith’s defenses over the last two seasons in Tampa have been horrendous. Lovie’s defensive coaching prowess was always overrated. He had Hall of Fame-type players for years in Chicago.
- You figure out the Rams. When you do, let me know what you’ve learned.
- Told you I hated the Giants this year and last two times I hate them they won the Super Bowl.
NFL TRAVEL DISTANCES
Got sent this cool graphic from Matt Zajechowski. Check out the site itself.