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Ten Game Notes From PFF & What I Think About Them - Saints Edition

PFF spills the beans on their thoughts on the Bears-Saints game, and I respond to their points

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NFL: Chicago Bears at New Orleans Saints
Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky (10) scrambles with the football against the New Orleans Saints during the second half at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

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.

Let’s take a look at them, shall we?

​​Week 8 Bears Offensive Stats:

  1. Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky had the lowest-graded game of his young career at 47.0 overall. He particularly struggled under pressure, completing just 5-of-15 attempts for 31 yards with his one interception for a 14.6 passer rating. He was just 3-of-11 on passes that traveled more than 10 yards in the air, but he was credited with two dropped passes by receivers, plus a throw-away, a batted pass and one pass where he was hit while throwing. KM’s Thoughts: I can’t disagree with the stats, but I also saw growth in the young quarterback. I know PFF (or any place else) can’t count the stat, but I think everybody knows Trubisky had a TD pass in this game to Zach Miller, so that improves the rating some. Bottom line, he missed some throws that he needs to clean up, but he also nailed throws downfield as well, and he showed great poise in the pocket. Certainly a mixed performance, but signs of growth are there in some (not all) areas.
  2. The only Bears runner to force a missed tackle in the game was Mitchell Trubisky. Running back Jordan Howard did not force a true missed tackle on any of his 23 carries, and Trubisky actually had more yards after contact (52) on his three scrambles than Howard did (48) on his runs. KM’s Thoughts: Howard had a good, not great, overall game. Cohen wasn’t a factor in the running game at all. Trubisky has proven to have good mobility and he’s pulling the ball down appropriately (not waiting too long, not thinking ‘run first’ in panic).
  3. Mitchell Trubisky had his most success targeting Saints safety Kenny Vaccaro in coverage. Nine of Trubisky's 29 targeted passes were thrown into Vaccaro's coverage, and the rookie quarterback completed four of them for 43 yards with one drop. No other Saints defender was targeted more than 5 times or allowed more than two catches. KM’s Thoughts: The Bears must have seen something in Vaccaro’s game, they certainly went after him pretty hard. The drop was bad, and drops drive everybody nuts.
  4. The pass protection for Mitchell Trubisky was not doing any favors for the rookie quarterback. He was under pressure on 18 of his 37 drop backs (46.8 percent), despite tying his season-low in average time to throw of 2.82 seconds. He was 9-of-19 on passes that came out in 2.5 seconds or less and 5-of-14 on passes that took 2.6 seconds or longer. KM’s Thoughts: The OL was really spotty even before Cody Whitehair and Kyle Long went out with (thankfully not major long term) injuries. Lester has a great breakdown in his Sackwatch as usual, so I will refer you to that and keep this comment short. I do want to add that Josh Sitton’s snaps from shotgun were a big improvement over Cody Whitehair’s.
  5. Right guard Tom Compton really struggled after replacing Kyle Long, earning a 27.7 overall grade that was the lowest-graded performance by any Bears offensive lineman this season. He allowed one hit and three hurries on 36 pass blocking snaps, and he struggled to generate much push as a run blocker against the Saints defensive tackles. KM’s Thoughts: I’ve never been a big fan of Compton, nor any reserve tackle we’ve run out there. Compton really struggled. Even though most casual fans wouldn’t know it, the regulars here at WCG are all too aware of how big of a deal Eric Kush’’s season-ending injury was.

​​Week 8 Bears Defensive Stats:

  1. Outside linebacker Leonard Floyd had a quiet day as a pass rusher and received a 41.6 overall grade as a result. He was credited with a clean-up sack and one hurry on 29 pass rushing snaps, and he was targeted twice on two coverage snaps, allowing two catches for 41 yards. He also missed a tackle in the backfield on Saints running back Mark Ingram. KM’s Thoughts: Floyd’s sack was a complete gift, caused by him being in the right place at the right time to touch an already down QB. He actually played pretty well overall, 29 pass rushes against New Orleans shows that he was in coverage a lot.
  2. Inside linebacker Danny Trevathan was strong once again, earning himself an 85.4 overall grade. He led the team with six total stops in the game and did not miss a tackle. He allowed four catches on four targets in coverage, but 19 of his 20 receiving yards allowed came on one play. KM’s Thoughts: I don’t know if Danny’s suspension energized him, fired him up or what, but since that time he’s been the monster LB that the Bears thought they were getting last year. He’s moved the needle all the way from borderline “bust” signing to “man, I’m glad he’s here”. In the absence of Freeman, Trevathan’s also doing a good job calling the D... when he was out and it fell on the young guys to do that, it was a bit of a fiasco.
  3. Before he left the game with a knee injury, cornerback Bryce Callahan was struggling, missing three tackles on his 12 snaps in the game. He was targeted five times against five different receivers in his eight coverage snaps, allowing four catches for 87 yards with one pass breakup, still a 118.8 passer rating when targeted. KM’s Thoughts: An unusual off game for somebody who’s turned into a very good corner. At first watching (I watch the condensed version on NFL Game Pass, I can’t stand watching games live, all the breaks and timeouts drive me nuts... it’s a quirk... but I do listen to them live on the radio because I can do other things at the same time) I didn’t even realize Callahan was out with an injury for any length of time. If they said it in the radio broadcast I didn’t catch it. Long story short, I’ve tried to find an update on his condition, nobody has anything, so I guess we will have to wait to see what we see.
  4. Safety Adrian Amos was once again the Bears' highest-graded player at 85.6 overall. He was targeted three times on 32 coverage snaps, allowing two catches for a negative-three yards. He finished the game with three total stops, although a missed tackle was the main blemish on his performance. KM’s Thoughts: Remember last year when I was defending Amos, and trying to remind everybody that safety is one of those positions (like Tight End) that really takes 3-4 years to master? Well, here we are in year 3, and all that experience he gained in his first two seasons (plus talent, ability and hard work) is really paying off. PFF has him as an elite player. I don’t have him quite that high, but I think with Amos and Jackson plus depth behind them under contract, we are set at safety.
  5. The Bears' defense didn't get a lot of pressure on Saints quarterback Drew Brees. He was under pressure on just five of his 31 drop backs (16.1 percent), the lowest percentage of pressure he's faced in a game this season. Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio brought the blitz on 10 of Brees' drop backs, and the Saints quarterback had no issues going 7-of-9 for 131 yards when facing the extra rush. KM’s Thoughts: Some times you have to tip your helmet to your opponents. New Orleans is very, very good. The effort was there, it’s just... well... New Orleans is very, very good.

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