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Ten Game Notes From PFF & What I Think About Them

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PFF ranges from insightful to absolutely bonkers in this week’s game notes.

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Carolina Panthers v Chicago Bears
Leonard Floyd #94 of the Chicago Bears rushes against Ed Dickson #84 of the Carolina Panthers at Soldier Field on October 22, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Panthers 17-3.
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Our friends at Pro Football Focus (PFF) provide the Windy City Gridiron with some of their thoughts for us to use as references following each Chicago Bears game.

I thought I would share with you this week’s PFF insights in full, and give my views on their grades and opinions. Some I think are pretty good, and one is absolutely daft.

Let’s take a look at them, shall we?

OFFENSE

  1. Both Bears offensive tackles were clean in pass protection. Neither LT Charles Leno nor RT Bobby Massie allowed pressure on 14 pass blocking snaps, earning 74.9 and 76.4 overall grades in the process. Each of the team's three interior starters were credited with a sack. KM: Both Massie and Leno had a better week this week than last against a very stout Baltimore rush. There’s a lot of people who think we have “bad” tackles, they are wrong. This was a good game for the outside duo. The inside guys? Not so much. Having said that, I am not in any way a fan of the way PFF grades OT’s in general.
  2. Even with so few pass attempts, the Bears still had trouble keeping the quarterback clean. Mitchell Trubisky was under pressure on seven of his 13 drop backs (53.8 percent), the highest rate of any quarterback in Sunday's games. The rookie quarterback was 1-of-2 for 8 yards when under pressure. KM: This was a REAL problem Sunday, the Bears inside three were under attack all day long in both the passing and running phases of the game. Mitch ducked early on a couple of these pressures. I’ll be interested to see Lester’s SackWatch later this week to see how many sacks were on the line and how many were Trubisky’s doing.
  3. Both Bears offensive tackles were clean in pass protection. Neither LT Charles Leno nor RT Bobby Massie allowed pressure on 14 pass blocking snaps, earning 74.9 and 76.4 overall grades in the process. Each of the team's three interior starters were credited with a sack. KM: See above.
  4. Running back Jordan Howard found more success running right than left. Even though 15 of his carries went through the line of scrimmage to the left of the center, he picked up 34 of his 65 yards on the six runs that he took right, a 5.6-yard average. Howard forced two missed tackles on his runs and picked up 48 yards after contact, but that was only enough for a 40.2 overall grade. KM: Interesting... I’m going to have to do some film work to get a better look at this before I can comment further.
  5. Running back Tarik Cohen was more of a wide receiver in this game. He was on the field for seven of his team's 38 snaps, and only one came in the backfield with four at wide receiver and two in the slot. He was the target on three of Mitchell Trubisky's seven throws, catching one for 70 yards, dropping one and bobbling another before stepping out of bounds for an incompletion. KM: As far as I’m concerned, he can primarily be a wideout for the rest of the year. He sure isn’t replacing any playmakers if he lines up out there.

DEFENSE

  1. Defensive end Akiem Hicks was difficult for the Panthers to stop. He earned an 85.5 overall grade and had the highest pass rushing grade on the defense at 86.5, generating one sack and seven hurries on 40 pass rushing snaps. He did miss one tackle in the game, but all four of his tackles were stops in the game. KM: Akiem Hicks is the first-half MVP of the Chicago Bears, and I don’t think it’s even close.
  2. Outside linebacker Leonard Floyd generated a lot of pressures on the stat sheet, but the grading behind his pass rush tells a more clear story of his production. He registered one sack, one hit and seven hurries on 35 pass rushing snaps, but five of his hurries and his one hit all came on pass rushes where he was either unblocked, pursuing the quarterback late in a play, or registering a "clean up" pressure where the quarterback was flushed to him by other pass rushers. In total, it was good for a 72.8 overall grade and just a 50.9 pass rush grade. KM: Sorry, this is absolute rubbish. Completely wrong. Hmmm... perhaps they got confused as to which player Floyd was... he’s wearing number 94 out there... you know, the guy that was causing absolute havoc from one end of the field to the other?
  3. Linebacker Danny Trevathan had the highest-graded game of his career at 92.1 overall in a well-rounded performance. He registered three stops in run defense, and he was effective as a blitzer, generating one sack, one hit and two hurries on nine pass rushes. In 37 coverage snaps, he was targeted four times, allowing three catches for 19 yards with an interception, all against running back Christian McCaffrey. KM: I though Trevathan had an outstanding game, along with Jones. In fact, this game was probably the best one-two punch we’ve had in a single game’s worth of linebacking since Urlacher & Briggs teamed up. Jones is working his way into an “offseason priority” here.
  4. Both Bears safeties had highly graded performances even though Eddie Jackson stole the show. The rookie earned a 90.4 overall grade and was only targeted once on 46 coverage snaps, while Adrian Amos wasn't far behind at 88.8 overall. The third-year safety was targeted four times, allowing two catches for a total of negative two yards with a pass defensed as well. KM: I’ve always liked Amos, and I’ve got to tell you all I love this combination. Young, fast, strong, will hit you, and scoring pick 6’s... what more could you want?
  5. The Bears' pass rush consistently got after quarterback Cam Newton. He was under pressure on 23 of his 43 drop backs (53.5 percent), in some part due to defensive coordinator Vic Fangio blitzing on a season-high 43.5 percent of passing plays (19 out of 43). Newton's completion percentage dropped by more than 15 percent when under pressure and more than 30 percent against the blitz. KM: Perhaps Newton was running around out there looking for that “opportunity he and his team was missing?”

So what do you think? Did they get it right? Are they full of beans? Sound off, let’s here what you’ve got!