Bears Offense is Statistically Awful

Wcg_thumb_notes_medium If it was not already apparent that the Bears offense is less than awesome, this statistical analysis should remove all doubt.  I've compiled stats from NFL.com and footballoutsiders.com.  (FO has extensive write-ups and descriptions for what their stats mean and how to interpret them.)

First, let's look at the basics:

The Bears are ranked 23rd in total offense32nd in rushing offense, and 14th in passing offense.

Total yards do not tell the whole story though, since the Bears have been down a lot in games they are not running the ball and find themselves passing.  Yards per play and yards per attempt tell a similar story.

The Bears are ranked 21st in yards per carry and 20th in yards per pass attempt.  Very little on offense is working.

Also, the Bears are averaging 16 first downs per game, ranking 26th in that category.  Their Time of Possession is 28:37; also ranking them 26th.  Turnover margin is -5, good for 25th in the league.  Finally, they have 74 penalties for 617 yards, which ranks them as the 6th most penalized team (by yards and #) in the league.  Did I say little? I meant nothing is working on offense. 

With an offense that is performing so poorly, there's a lot of blame to go around.  Jay Cutler's Red-Zone interceptions, the porous & weak offensive line, Ron Turner's play calling, Matt Forte's timid running, and inexperienced receivers are all contributing to these poor numbers. 

I want to focus on the offensive line in this post. The Bears have only 43 rushing 1st downs on the season.  Wow. Let that sink in for a moment: less than 4 per game; dead last in the league.  By contrast, the Dolphins, Saints, Panthers, and Jets have at least 80+ each. 

According to Football Outsiders (FO), the Bears Offensive Line is ranked 27th in Adjusted Line Yards.  Their Power Success is only 60% for a rank of 21st, which means on 3rd or 4th down with 2 or less yards to go, they only make a 1st down or touchdown 60% of the time they run the ball.  Comparatively, Miami succeeds 81% of the time in similar situations for 1st in the league. 

FO breaks it down further.  They look at runs outside the tackles, at the tackles, and between the tackles.

Rnk Tm Lft End Rnk Lft Tackle Rnk Mid Guard Rnk Rt Tackle Rnk Rt End Rnk
27 CHI 4.37 15 2.83 31 3.81 25 3.60 27 3.81 18

(Number is Adjusted Line Yards running in the direction indicated, and rank is league rank for those runs)

The Bears running game is performing very poorly when running at the Left Tackle.  I wonder who that is?  They are not doing much better with runs up the middle and to the right tackle.  They are just mediocre when running to the outside.  To indict Ron Turner in all of this let's look at where the Bears runs are going.

# Carries

Lft End Lft Tackle Mid Guard Rt Tackle Rt End
198
11% 9% 61% 9% 10%

League average for Mid/Guard runs is 51%.  Only 3 teams run up the middle more than the Bears.  The Bears don't have much success running up the middle, yet they keep doing it...a lot.

The numbers for the offensive line in the passing game are not much better.  They have given up 24 sacks (16th most) but have also allowed 58 QB Hits.  The Titans, Colts, and Saints are at 29, 31, and 35 QB Hits respectively.

A lot of blame for the Bears offensive impotence needs to be hurled at the offensive line.  Right now the Bears are a bad run team and an average passing team.  They do not run up the middle or at the tackles very well.  When they run outside, they are at least league average.  Knowing the teams' strengths and weaknesses, hopefully Ron Turner can start calling plays that put the players in the best spots to make plays.

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