Well Bears fans, it appears we could be in for a drudgingly long season. Even if Trubisky is the real deal, the rookie errors will be a growing pain to live with.
During these gimcrack times, the comment sections are rife with seemingly personal thoughts about how to rectify the current plight of our Bears. Unfortunately, much of these prognosis’ are merely different phrases eluding to long held football clichés. When I see one of my fellow WCG contributors make a comment like, "We really need to focus on finding another EDGE to pair with Floyd. That will solve the DB’s problems because we can get to the opposing QB faster;" what I am really hearing is the old football adage "Offense wins games, but defense wins championships," as though the ability to focus on defense will fix the Bears and turn them from their bottom dwelling ways.
This got me thinking, how did these statements even come about? Are they even true? If they were true at one point, do they still hold true in today’s NFL? So, I decided to research these oft repeated sentiments of football lore and determine if they have merit. In the immortal words of the great philosopher and trumpeter for Oingo Boingo Dale Turner once stated, "some of the best lessons we ever learn are learned from past mistakes. The error of the past is the wisdom and success of the future."
"Why do this," you ask? Because I am tired. I am tired of waiting for the opening kickoff with the same level of confusing anticipation that I have when I go through the drive thru at McDonalds; the excitement of knowing I am finally getting food after starving for the last 2 days, but the disappointing knowledge that it isn’t food, it isn’t healthy for me, and I won’t even get what I ordered. I am tired. I am tired of watching the Bears only to feel like I just got punched… by my grandmother… in the kidneys. I am tired. I am tired of feeling like, every time I watch the team I love, I just opened a pack of Starburst to find all lemon flavored chews. I am tired of not caring about next weeks game. My level of not caring has reached Jay Cutler proportions. No! My purpose is clear. My purpose in wandering down this dangerous path is to take a different look at the flailing franchise we so love so I can finally have the same hope I once had. You all know this feeling. It was the same feeling that you had when you asked Jenny Perzinski to the 7th grade dance for the first time, hoping she might actually hold your hand too. But right now that hope has been dashed. Dashed against the rocks, just like when that same Jenny Perzinski said she couldn’t go to the dance because she was busy, and then you found out she went to the dance anyway; and she went with Brad Hess. *Remember to delete that last sentence in editing.
What makes this path so dangerous you ask? The readership and fellow commenters. Undoubtedly, I will be harangued, lectured, and otherwise poked and prodded for the metric I will use to determine the outcome. But in keeping with the spirit of this journey, it was the advice of tennis star and sage Maria Sharapova who once remarked "I can't please everyone. That's not in my J.D., you know, not in my job description."
To help assuage you on this pathway to the promised land, I will let you know that I am using only 1 metric to determine the overall truthiness of these sayings; points. I will be reviewing the top 25 teams from the last 25 years in terms of points as a basis of weighing the evidence given. Why points? Simple. I looked to the original guru of the NFL for the inspiration to this analysis. It was the legen….
….wait for it…
dary commentator John Madden who gave us fans this piece of advice, "Usually the team that scores the most points wins the game."
So in short, the metric I am using, is points.
If we are looking at an offensive statement such as "Establishing the run is the key to success," then we will look at the top 25 offensive point scoring teams of the last 25 years. We will analyze how their running game contributed to their offensive point total.
If we are looking at a defensive comment such as "You can’t win with the defense on field for (insert time here) minutes." Then we will analyze the top 25 defensive point rejecting teams of the last 25 years and their time spent on the field, defensive red zone percentages, and the like.
To start things off, we will look at the most oft repeated saying of them all. Yes, I am referencing the very same statement muttered in the opening of this article, "Offense wins games, but defense wins championships." And over the next 4 weeks we will review further aphorisms such as: "Establish the run," "We have to win the turnover game," and "Control the clock." In the 5th and final week, we will look in to the past, so we can assess our present Bears, and change our future. After all, I want what all of you want; answers.