FanShot

Bears Don't Run Into 8-Man Defensive Fronts

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Admittedly, this is an article about Drew Brees's effect on the Saints running game. But I found the chart buried about halfway down. Ignoring obvious run/pass situations (1), the Bears faced the 3rd least rate of defenses putting 8+ men in the box. (1) We threw out any play where there were more than two wide receivers in the formation or an offense was down two or more scores because this suggests to a defense that a pass is coming. We also dumped all short-yardage plays (1 yard from a first down) and goal-line situations (3 or fewer yards from the end zone). Lastly, we ignored the final six minutes of the game because an offense’s intentions here are frequently obvious — whether it’s to play catch-up (pass) or to kill clock (run).