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2016 Bears in Context: 3rd Down Efficiency

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NFL: Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bears only scored 17.4 points per game in 2016 (which placed them 28th in the NFL). While it would be hard to pinpoint a single cause in such a disastrous season, there is one stat that stands out when it comes to measuring offensive consistency, and that’s 3rd-down efficiency. Somewhat obviously, offenses that convert on third down stay on the field and give themselves a better chance to score.

The Saints converted on 48.6% of third-down opportunities to lead the NFL, and the Rams were the worst at 31.5% Overall, the average team in the NFL converted on 39.72% of its third-down attempts.

Meanwhile, the Bears converted only 37.8% of their third-down attempts. That placed them 21st in the NFL. I’ve talked elsewhere about how the Bears handled third down, but the fact remains that this was an area that the team struggled. One reason this was particularly disappointed was that in 2015, the Bears were actually 6th in the NFL in conversion rate (at 42.5%).

Clearly, the Bears took a massive step backward on offense. Add your own commentary and analysis below.