Bears Defense & Specialists: Final 2013 stats

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

A look at how the Chicago Bears' final defensive position groups' and specialists' numbers compare to projections coming out of the bye week, and after 12 games.

We previously looked at how the defensive position groups' and specialists' stats projected coming out of the bye week (week 7) and after week 12.  How did they hold up over the final four weeks of the season?

As before, for reference I also included their 2012 stats and (for the specialists) pre-2013 career averages by way of comparison. All data is taken from NFL.com and Pro-Football-Reference.

Overall defensive stats

Tackles Sacks Sfty PDef Ints TD FFum FumR TD
2013 742
31
0
63
19
5
19
20
1
Projected (week 12)
680
32
72
20
5
23
21
1
Projected (bye week) 752 21 98 23 7 30 18 2
2012 733 41 0 115 24 8 26 20 1

The defense maintained their improved sack rate (compared to the anaemic pass rush coming out of the bye week) and, as a whole, made more tackles in the final four games... their passes defended declined, though, which may reflect opposing teams taking advantage of the weak run defense by pounding the ball on the ground.

Defensive line


Tackles
Sacks
Sfty
PDef
Ints
TD
FFum
FumR TD
2013 127
21
0 11
2 1 4 5 0
Projected (week 12) 133
22 15 3 1 4 7
Projected (bye week) 114 9 2 5 11
2012 149 38 0 4 0 7 4 0

The defensive line maintained their improved sack rate following the bye week, but dipped slightly in tackles contributed and passes defended. These may, of course, be a result of facing increased run plays.  We'll get a clearer picture if we look at the second and third lines of defense.

Linebackers


Tackles
Sacks
Sfty
PDef
Ints
TD
FFum
FumR TD
2013 221
10
0 14
2
4
2
0
Projected (week 12) 223
9
17
3 5

Projected (bye week) 240 11 25 7 2
2012 188 3 0 23 3 3 5 3 0

Lance Briggs was lost to injury going into the bye week, and his return at the end of the season was too late to pick up the unit, as a whole.  The struggling group made a smaller percentage of the team's total tackles than was projected at the bye week.

Secondary


Tackles
Sacks
Sfty
PDef
Ints
TD
FFum
FumR TD
2013 336
0 0 37
15
0
9 1 0
Projected (week 12) 316
0.5 39
15 4 11 1
Projected (bye week) 306 48 23 7 14 2
2012 280 0 0 65 21 5 11 9 0

The secondary were called upon to make a higher and higher proportion of tackles as the season wore on, though their other defensive stats remained at moreorless the same level through the final four games of the season.  Having your safeties be second and third on the team for tackles (behind James Anderson's team-leading 85 solo) isn't a good sign.

As important as the nickel back position is with so many offenses featuring three-wide sets, it's striking to note that Isaiah Frey, who replaced original choice Kelvin Hayden when the latter was lost for the season in training camp, wasn't credited with any stats other than tackles.  The Bears will undoubtedly look for increased production from that position next season.

Kick returner: Devin Hester


Punt Rt
Yds TD Lng Y/Rt K/o Rt
Yds
TD
Lng
Y/Rt APYd
2013 18
256
1
81T
14.2 52
1,436
0
80
27.6
1,792
Projected (week 12) 20
223


11.1
48
1,353

28.2 1,576
Projected (bye week) 21
274
2

13.0
48
1,406


29.3 1,680
2012 40
331
0
44
8.3
24
621
0
40
25.9
1,200
Career avg 35.1 426.4 1.7 89T 12.1 24.3 581.1
0.7 98T 23.9 1,007.6

Hester was unable to get the 20th punt/KO TD return to take him clear of the record he shares with Deion Sanders, but he seemed to be increasingly productive in the return game late in the season; being removed from WR duties may have helped in that.  He's a free agent and it remains to be seen if the Bears value him enough to devote a roster spot to a pure returner, or if Lovie Smith can lure him to Tampa Bay.

Kicker: Robbie Gould

FG att FGM Lng Blk Pct
2013 29
26
58 0 89.7
Projected (week 12) 32
28
87.5
Projected (bye week) 30 27 90.0
2012 25 21 54 2 84.0
Career avg 30.4 26 57 1.25 85.6

Robbie Gould had another solid season and the Bears rewarded him with a new contract.  No complaints here.

Punter: Adam Podlesh

Punts Yds Net Yds Lng Avg Net Avg Blk OOB Dn In 20 TB FC Ret RetY TD
2013 68
2,763 2,612 65 40.6 37.9 1 11 15 27 2 25 15 111 0
Projected (week 12) 73
3,052 2,880 41.8 39.5 1 13
16
31
1
27
16
145
Projected (bye week) 66 2,889 2,670 43.8 40.5 11 18 30 2 23 11 174
2012 81 3,399 3,195 64 42.0 39.4 0 7 18 34 6 25 25 84 0
Career avg 66.5 2,842.2 2,576.7 76 42.7 38.7 0 5.8 10.2 21.7 3.8 16.5 29.2 168.8 0

The Bears punted at a slightly decreased rate after the bye week, and overall Podlesh was called upon 13 fewer times than in the Ticefense.  It's noticeable that his gross and net averages declined as the season progressed; with the Bears set to bring a couple of young, cheap punters to camp who might be more than just camp legs (including the son of '85 Bears kicker Kevin Butler), it's fair to ask if his roster spot may be under pressure.

Long snapper: Patrick Mannelly

Awesomeness
2013 Awesome
Projected (week 12) Awesome
Projected (bye week) Awesome
2012 Awesome
Career avg Awesome

The Pat Man has yet to decide if he's returning to extend his franchise record of games played for the Bears, but his 2013 campaign was up to his usual standard.

Did anything catch your eye?

(Article pic in hi-res.)

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