All statistics and snap counts are taken directly from the NFL's Game Statistic and Information System.
The most important number in the Chicago Bears loss was obviously the final score, as Chicago is downed by the Carolina Panthers by a score of 31 to 24. But a few other numbers jump out at me when looking over the stats sheet. The Bears lost the turnover battle, 4 to 3. They were penalized 10 times for 80 yards, while the Panthers were only flagged 3 times for 30 yards. The Bears were 5 for 13 on 3rd downs (38%) and 0 for 1 on 4th down, while the Panthers converted 5 of their twelve 3rd down tries (42%). The Bears were sacked four times, the Panthers only twice.
Those numbers usually add up to a loss.
The Bears actually outgained the Panthers 347 yards to 321 and they held the time of possession advantage by nearly six minutes.
The Bears just couldn't make the big play on offense or defense when they had to, and their mistakes seemed to come at the most inopportune times.
An inconsistent offense, plus an inconsistent defense and a bad special teams unit equals a 2-3 record. The Bears are what their record says they are, and right now, unfortunately, they're a bad team.
Jay Cutler had three of the Bears four turnovers, 2 interceptions and a fumble on their final offensive snap of the game. He finished with a pretty good passer rating on the day, 95.5, and he went 28 of 36 for 289 yards with 2 touchdown passes. He added another TD on the ground where he had 22 yards on 3 carries. Cutler along with his five offensive linemen were the only Bears to play all 64 plays on offense.
The two starting wide outs played the next most snaps, Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall only sat out 2 plays apiece. Jeffery caught 6 of the 7 balls thrown his way for 97 yards and a touchdown and Marshall snagged 3 balls on 5 targets for 44 yards. After Marshall proclaimed his ankle healthy, I was expecting him to be a bigger part of the game-plan.
Tight end Martellus Bennett (58 plays), who was the team's leading receiver heading into the game, had 3 receptions on 5 targets for only 17 yards. His backup, Dante Rosario, actually outgained him by 3 yards and he matched his 3 receptions. Rosario was targeted 4 times in his 23 snaps and he added 19 plays on special teams. Eben Britton had 5 snaps on O and another 5 on the special teams.
Matt Forte was the game's leading receiver. He caught all 12 balls thrown his way for 105 yards and a TD. Forte was the workhorse in the running game again, playing 58 snaps. He had 17 caries for 61 yards, while his backup, Ka'Deem Carey, chipped in with 2 attempts for 2 yards on 12 offensive snaps.
Rounding out the offensive playing time, wide receiver Santonio Holmes had 22 snaps (1 catch, 6 yards, 3 targets), WR Josh Morgan had 15 snaps, WR Chris Williams had 1 snap and TE/OL Eben Britton had 5.
On the defensive side of the ball I was surprised to see how many plays Jared Allen had. Remember this is a guy that one week ago was suffering form pneumonia and lost about 15 pounds. The Bears played him more than any other defensive lineman, 59 of 66 plays (89%) plus an additional 6 on special teams. Allen was active though, as he led the team with 7 total tackles (2 solo 5 assists) and he had a pass defended.
Lamarr Houston had 2 tackles and a fumble recovery in his 49 snaps and rounding out the defensive end rotation, Willie Young had 37 snaps (56%), 5 total tackles, a sack and a forced fumble.
Stephen Paea led the change at defensive tackle with 46 snaps. He had the Bears' other sack, a QB hit, a tackle for loss and 4 total tackles. Will Sutton had 4 total tackles in 43 snaps. Ego Ferguson had 2 tackles and 2 passes defended in 31 plays.
Undrafted rookie linebacker Christian Jones was forced into action (23 snaps, 1 assisted tackle) when Jon Bostic left the game injured. Bostic had 4 total tackles in his 32 plays. Middle linebacker D.J. Williams went for 54 plays, making 6 total tackles. Lance Briggs had 4 tackles, a QB hit, an interception and 2 passes defended while only sitting out 1 play. Khaseem Green filled in on the play for Briggs and also had 19 special teams snaps.
Two Bear defenders played all 66 snaps. Safety Ryan Mundy (4 tackles) and corner Kyle Fuller (3 tackles and a pass defended). If you're following me on Twitter, and I hope you are, you'll get little nuggets like this in advance of my WCG articles.
The other starting corner, Tim Jennings, only missed 2 plays. He had a pass defense and 4 total tackles. Chris Conte, who started at the other safety position, only lasted 8 snaps before leaving with his 2nd concussion this year. I think Conte should consider wearing the Mark Kelso Helmet.
Danny McCray filled in for Conte, and he made 4 tackles in 58 defensive snaps. McCray also had the most special teams snaps for the Bears at 22. Nickel back Isaiah Frey played 24 snaps on defense; he had a forced fumble and a fumble recovery, and he was in on 6 tackles.
On the special teams, it was Teddy Williams playing 19 snaps and making one very silly penalty, Senorise Perry had a tackle and a forced fumble in his 19 special teams snaps, and linebacker Darryl Sharpton had 18 snaps for the 3rd phase.
What were your thoughts on the numbers this week?