Inside the Numbers: Week 6

The Bears rankings are not pretty and give us a good idea of why the team is 2-3. We analyze Chicago's statistical performance so far this season, as well as that of this week's opponent.

OFFENSE

Total yards per game: 318.0 (23rd in NFL)
Rush yards per game: 101.4 (21st)
Pass yards per game: 216.6 (23rd)

How much can anyone really expect from an offense when the offensive line isn't blocking? The Bears are in the bottom half of every offensive category but are actually playing better than last year (2010: 30th total, 28th pass, 22nd rush). The team has converted just 28.6 percent of its 3rd downs, good for 30th in the league.

Jay Cutler: 99/169, 58.6 pct, 1,209 yds, 241.8 yds/game, 6 TD, 4 INT, 82.7 rating

Cutler is doing all he can to keep the passing game alive but he's constantly under pressure and isn't getting much help from his wideouts. His 241.8 passing yards per game is the highest total in Chicago history, topping Erik Kramer's 239.9 yards per game in 1995. In five career games against the Vikings, Cutler has thrown 13 TDs compared to just 6 INTs for a passer rating of 97.8.


WR Devin Hester
Andrew Weber/US Presswire

Johnny Knox: 14 rec, 25 targets, 254 yds, 18.1 avg, 1 TD, 49 yac
Devin Hester: 12 rec, 28 tar, 17 yds, 14.3 avg, 0 TD, 108 yac
Dane Sanzenbacher: 16 rec, 27 tar, 146 yds, 9.1 avg, 2 TD, 21 yac
Roy Williams: 6 rec, 10 tar, 81 yds, 13.5 avg, 31 yac

The receivers have accounted for just 58 percent of the team's receptions and are being led in catches by an undrafted rookie. The group has picked up just 36 of the offense's 55 first downs through the air. Hester has been targeted more than any other receiver but has just 12 catches – Sanzenbacher should pass him in targets in the near future. Hester didn't catch a pass last week, the first time he failed to make a reception in 48-straight games. Knox is getting more looks since taking over starting duties from Williams. His 18.1 average leads the team, and is 11th best in the NFL, but he's getting almost nothing after the catch, which is disappointing for a player with his speed.

Kellen Davis: 6 rec. 12 tar, 80 yards, 13.3 avg, 2 TD, 28 yac

Davis has just one more target than WR Sam Hurd, who hardly saw the field through team's first four games. Coordinator Mike Martz's refusal to make Davis an integral part of the offense is his biggest mistake so far this season. Two of his six catches have gone for touchdowns and he's picked up 28 of his 80 receiving yards after the catch. He's a weapon who is being grossly misused.

Mat Forte: 82 car, 440 yds, 5.4 avg, 6 TD, 88 yds/game; 30 rec, 40 tar, 345 yds, 11.5 avg, 1 TD, 287 yac

Forte's 785 yards from scrimmage is the best in the NFL this year. His 158.5 scrimmage yards per game is the third highest in NFL history. He's 6th in the league in rushing average and he leads the Bears in nearly every offensive statistical category. His 82 carries are just 11th best in the league. He's having an MVP-type season. Without him, the Bears could arguably be 0-5 right now.

In five career games against the Vikings, Forte has rushed for 414 yards on 109 carries, good for a 3.8 average and 1TD.

Offensive line: The Bears' front five has given up 18 sacks, third worst in the NFL. The 126 yards lost from sacks is second worst.

DEFENSE

Total yards allowed per game: 419.6 (29th)
Pass yards allowed per game: 284.0 (27th)
Rush yards allowed per game: 135.6 (28th)


RB Jahvid Best
Leon Halip/Getty

The Bears are getting torched on defense at nearly unprecedented levels. The 419 yards allowed per game is 64 yards more than the team's worst per-game average of the past 10 years. Against the Lions, the group surrendered a 73-yard passing touchdown to Calvin Johnson and an 88-yard rushing touchdown to Jahvid Best. Chicago's defense hasn't allowed a run and a pass of more than 73 yards in the same game since 1950. In fact, they haven't allowed two such plays in an entire season since 1999.

The unit is worst in the league with three runs given up of 40 or more yards and sixth-worst with five runs of 20 yards or longer. They have given up six passes of 30 or more yards, having allowed just nine such passes all of last season. At this time last year, the Bears were ranked sixth in total defense and fourth in rushing yards against.

The group still continues to force turnovers though, a staple of a Lovie Smith defense. Their eight forced turnovers are 6th best in the NFC, and the team's +3 turnover differential is third in the conference. Only four of those turnovers have come from interceptions, the 18th lowest total in the league. The only secondary player to have intercepted a pass so far is nickel corner D.J. Moore, who has two picks so far. His six interceptions since 2010 is seventh best in the league. Brian Urlacher has the team's other two interceptions. The Bears' 9.0 sacks rank 21st in the NFL.

Chicago is 2-0 this year when the defense scores and 16-4 in contests which they score a defensive touchdown since 2004, including 13-1 since 2005.

SPECIAL TEAMS

K Robbie Gould: 10/10 FGs, 49 long, 11/11 XP
P Adam Podlesh: 30 punts, 43.8 avg (20th), 40.4 net (8th), 57 long, 6 in 20 (17th)

Gould has yet to miss a kick all season and is now the third-most accurate kicker in NFL history, connecting on 169 of 196 career FG attempts (86.2 percent). He has 16 touchbacks on the season, already tying a career high. His 64.0 touchback percentage is tied for sixth-highest in the NFL. Chicago has the fourth best opponent starting field position at the 19.7-yard line.

Devin Hester is averaging 20.2 yards per punt return, second-best in the NFL. His 23.4-yard kickoff average is 17th best.

WEEK 6 MATCHUP vs. Minnesota Vikings

Vikings offensive stats

Total yards per game: 315.8 (24th)
Rush yards per game: 160.0 (3rd)
Pass yards per game: 155.8 (31st)

Vikings defensive stats


QB Donovan McNabb
Joe Robbins/Getty

Total yards allowed per game: 348.2 (14th)
Rush yards allowed per game: 76.4 (4th)
Pass yards allowed per game: 271.8 (25th)

The Bears have won eight of their last 10 contests following a Monday night game, including their last seven such contests played at home.

Minnesota holds an all-time record of 52-46-2 against the Bears in the series that began in 1961, with Chicago taking the last three meetings. The home team has won 15 of the last 18 contests, with Minnesota's win at Soldier Field in 2007 and the Bears win at the Metrodome in 2006 and TCF Bank Stadium in 2010 as the only road victories in the series since 2002.

Chicago holds a 25-22-2 edge over the Vikings in home contests. The Bears have won nine of the last 10 meetings between the teams at home, including three straight. The Bears are 7-1 against the Vikings in the new Soldier Field since it first opened in 2003.

Minnesota individual performances against the Bears:

QB Donovan McNabb: 8 games, 150/245, 61.2 pct, 1,585 yds, 7 TD, & INT, 77.7 rating, 6-2 overall record
RB Adrian Peterson: 7 games, 156 car, 784 yds, 5.0 avg, 11 TD
DE Jared Allen: 6 games, 27 tackles, 8.5 sacks, 1 INT, 1 FF, 1 PD
DT Kevin Williams: 16 games, 47 tackles, 7.0 sacks, 2 FR, 5 PD
CB Antoine Winfield: 15 games, 54 tackles, 2 INT, 1 FF, 1 FR, 11 PD

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Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of BearReport.com and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.


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