2013 Stats over/under: The offensive line

Jonathan Daniel

WCG's series setting Las Vegas-style over/unders continues and today we're looking at the offensive line. Will the supposedly-improved line actually be improved and take a step forward in protecting the quarterback?

It's been no secret that the Bears' offensive line has been terrible for quite some time. Going back to the immediate post-Super Bowl years, the offensive line has been in various shades of disarray.

It's gotten worse and seemingly everything the Bears have tried has not worked; scheme changes, free agents like Orlando Pace and Frank Omiyale drafting Chris Williams and Gabe Carimi, none of it has stopped Jay Cutler from getting sacked, hurried and hit.

However, the day that he was hired, coach Marc Trestman made a vow to protect the quarterback through personnel and scheme. GM Phil Emery brought in Jermon Bushrod and drafted Kyle Long and Jordan Mills.

That said however, through two preseason games the line is still a work in progress, as should be expected in the early going. Plus there has been more shuffling and injuries that caused problems as well. So how long before the line can begin to gel and start getting consistent? Will the starting five ultimately be better than we've seen in the recent past?

Last year the Bears ranked 30th in OL penalties according to Pro-Football Focus and they had 21 enforced pre-snap offensive penalties according to nflpenalties.com. According to pro-football-reference.com he line surrendered a total of 44 sacks, better than the previous three years; 49 (2011), 56 (2010) and 35 (2009).

NFL Penalties also cites the team as having 25 false start penalties (nearly six more than the league average) and 25 offensive holding calls (nearly five above the average). However, the team's most guilty culprits are either no longer with the team; Gabe Carimi (11 penalties - six holding, four false starts) and Chilo Rachal (Eight penalties - four holding, three false starts) or benched; J'Marcus Webb (Eight penalties - four holding, three false starts).

Now, onto the over/unders:

Sacks allowed: Over/under 38.5

False starts: Over/under 25.5

Holding penalties: Over/under 22.5

Side bets:

Number of offensive combinations used

Number of games started by same five linemen in same five positions

Starts for J-Webb: Over/under 6

Which side do you see the o-line falling on: over or under?

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