Bears preseason stat projections revisited

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Late last summer, when fans were optimistic about the first season of Marc Trestman, I did a series exploring over/unders for Bears defenders and offensive skill players. Now we look back: who was right, who was wrong and which numbers came closest to being right?

The original over/under series ran last August and set stat numbers that I thought were close to what each player would get and then people guessed if the player would go over or under those numbers. I threw some side bets in there too for good measure.

Players I looked at were Jay Cutler, Julius Peppers, Charles Tillman, Brandon Marshall, Matt Forte, Alshon Jeffery Shea McClellin, Martellus Bennett, the offensive line and then unit totals for both the offense and defense.

Below we'll explore how each player fared against their over/under numbers. Click on the player's name below to see the original post and refresh your memory of what people thought their stats would be.

Jay Cutler: 23..5 touchdown passes, 14.5 INTs, 3,300 yards, 83.5 rating, .5 rushing TDs, 199.5 rushing yards, 525 pass attempts and 62.5 completion percentage.

Due to him missing five and a half games he was under on almost everything except for completion percentage rate with 63.1 percent, interceptions (12) and rating which came in at 89.2. For what it's worth the team's passing attempts were 579.

Skimming the comments it looks like most people thought he would go over on the numbers (which he likely would have had he been healthy) but people did acknowledge he'd likely miss some games but a couple of commenters nailed the side bet of four games with over a 100 rating.

Charles Tillman: 3.5 interceptions, 5.5 forced fumbles, 13.5 pass deflections, 70.5 tackles and 2.5 defensive touchdowns.

Tillman missed eight games so naturally he came in under on everything but he did have three picks. He was about halfway to coming in within half of the numbers I set though, he finished with seven PDs, three FFs, 31 tackles but zero TDs.

Brandon Marshall: Marshall's reception/yards/TDs were set at 107.5/1,300/8.5 which was admittedly high on the first two but came in just under 1,300 yards (1,295) and was way over on TDs (12). He finished with 100 catches. I also set an over/under of 4.5 100 yard games, 3.5 games with double digit receptions and 81.25 yards per game.

He finished with six 100-yard games, one double-digit reception game and only 80.9 YPG. Most commenters seemed to think that the improved offense would keep his numbers down on most or all categories. Isn't it a beautiful thing that they were right about one but not the other? A well-functioning offense and a receiver who had 100/1295/12 and it wasn't like he was the only guy the QB looked for either.

Matt Forte: 240.5 carries, 1,159.5 yards, 6.5 TDs, 4.8 YPC, 75.5 receptions, 476.5 reception yards, 4.5 receiving TDs

Forte had a career year and was over on carries (289), yards (1,339), TDs (9) and reception yards (594) and was under on YPC (4.6), receiving TDs (3) and receptions (74). Most people thought Michael Bush would have a bigger role and keep Forte's numbers down but I will call out my colleague Kev for saying 6.5 rushing TDs was "absolutely insane." I still like you though.

Shea McClellin: 6.5 sacks, 20.5 tackles, 2.5 forced fumbles, 9.5 tackles for loss

McClellin, unfortunately, was under across the board. He registered four sacks (three came in one game), 14 tackles, zero forced fumbles and four TKFL. What can I say? Most of us thought he would take a step up in year two.

Martellus Bennett: 62.5 receptions, 7.5 TDs, 715.5 yards

Bennett worked out well for the Bears going over on receptions and yards (65 and 759) but nabbed only five touchdowns.

Alshon Jeffery: 62.5 receptions, 775.5 yards, 5.5 touchdowns, 12.5 yards per catch and 1.5 100-yard games

I vastly underestimated the progress Jeffery would make in year two, something I'll try to keep in mind if I do an over/under post on Marquess Wilson this summer. Da Midway Monster called having two 1,000 yard receivers, something I dismissed. Most other commenters thought he would go over by virtue of having Marshall and M. Bennett on the field. For the record, his final numbers were 89/1,421/7, 16 YPC and five 100-yard games including two 200-yard games.

Julius Peppers: 11.5 sacks, 4.5 FFs, 3 pass deflections, 31.5 tackles and 13.5 TKFL

Not many of us foresaw his decline coming so rapidly. He finished with 7.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, three PDs, 31 tackles and two tackles for loss. Everyone was taking the over on those numbers.

The offensive line: 38.5 sacks allowed, 25.5 false starts, 22.5 holding penalties

As a team, according to NFLpenalties.com, only four of the team's false starts were on offensive linemen and as a team they had only nine. The line allowed only 30 sacks and the OL was responsible for nine of the team's 18 offensive holding calls. The majority of people seemed to think it would be under on false starts and sacks but over on holding. Mr. Titanium boldly predicted the team would have a top ten o-line. He wasn't far off, was he?

The defense: Fifth in points allowed, fifth in yards per game allowed, 325 yards per game, 19.5 yards per points per game allowed, 50 turnovers, 42 sacks and 20 INTs

I wish I could tell you this ended nicely but we all know it did not. The Bears finished 30th in yard per game, 30th in points per game, they allowed 394.6 yards per game, 29.9 points per game and they had 39 turnovers, 31 sacks and 19 INTs.

The offense: 15th in yards per game, 15th in points per game, 27.5 points per game, 355.5 yards per game, 36 offensive TDs and 38.5 third down percentage

The team finished eighth in yards per game with 381.8, second in points with 27.8. They converted 42 percent of their third downs and scored 45 TDs. Most people were cautiously optimistic and predicted, usually, over on everything expect yards per game.

Nice job, WCG, I would say overall we did fairly well predicting the team's stats this season, but it was tough to see the defense falling off so bad.

How were your predictions? Which predictions did you find hilarious looking back at the threads?

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