Behind the Numbers: Week 4

We analyze Chicago's key statistics and metrics on offense, defense and special teams, to find out what's working and what areas of the team need improvement.


Bears offensive rankings
Points scored: 14th (24.7)
Total offense: 27th (290.0)
Rushing offense: 13th (103.7)
Passing offense: 28th (186.3)

-Yards per carry: The Chicago Bears rank 13th overall in rushing but that number is a bit misleading. The team's yard per rushing attempt (3.5) is just 25th in the NFL. Michael Bush, who will carry the load again versus Dallas if Matt Forte can't go, is averaging a paltry 3.4 yards per carry.

-Interception percentage: Jay Cutler has thrown six interceptions through three games, compared to just three touchdowns. His percentage of passes intercepted (6 percent) is dead last in the NFL.

-Sacks: Chicago has allowed 11.0 sacks, fourth most in the league. The club ranks 29th in sacks per pass attempt.

-Turnovers: The Bears have turned the ball over six times, all Cutler interceptions. No one on the team has lost a fumble. The six turnovers are fourth worst in the league. Despite that, the team has a +3 turnover differential, as the defense has forced nine takeaways.

-Red zone: The offense is nine for nine in red-zone scoring (five touchdowns, four field goals). Yet their TD percentage (55.6) is just 13th in the NFL.

-First down: The Bears have 57 total first downs, 22nd in the league. They have run 19 times and passed 32 times. The other six were penalties. The team is averaging just 3.32 yards on first down, which is dead last in the NFL. Their 282 total yards on first is also 32nd in the league, 28 yards fewer than the 31st ranked team (Arizona).

-Third down: Chicago has converted just 13 of 41 third-down attempts. Their 31.7 conversion percentage is fifth worst in the NFL.

-Cutler: It's been a rough start to the season for Jay Cutler. His 58.6 passer rating is second worst in the league, his 52.7 completion percentage is fourth worst and his six interceptions are the most in the NFL. On third down, he's completed just 50.0 percent of his passes for a 52.9 rating. He gets much better in the fourth quarter though, raising his QB rating to 87.1.

-Louis: Lance Louis continues to be Chicago's best offensive lineman. Pro Football Focus (PFF) ranks Louis the 10th best guard in the league through three games. He's been solid as a run blocker and dominant in pass protection. So far, he has not allowed a sack or hurry, and given up just one hit on Cutler.

-Carimi: Gabe Carimi continues to struggle protecting Cutler. He gave up three more hurries against the Rams, giving him 11 total for the season – fifth most in the NFL amongst offensive tackles. He's also allowed three QB hits and two sacks. Right now, he is easily the worst pass blocker on the team. On the other hand, he's been a beast as a run blocker. PFF ranks Carimi as the best run blocking tackle in the NFL.


Bears defensive rankings
Points allowed: 5th (16.7)
Total defense: 6th (279.0)
Rushing defense: 6th (76.0)
Passing defense: 6th (203.0)
Turnover ratio: 7th (+3)

-Sacks: The Bears lead the league in total sacks (14.0). They are ranked second in sacks per pass play. Henry Melton has 3.0 sacks, which is second most amongst defensive tackles. Since the start of last season, Melton's 10.0 sacks rank second for DTs. Julius Peppers has 2.5 sacks. His 102.5 sacks since 2002 are third most in the NFL during that span.

-Touchdowns: Major Wright returned an interception 45 yards for a touchdown against the Rams. It was the first defensive TD of the season. Wright is one of three NFL safeties since 2010 with multiple interception-return touchdowns (2). Since 2004, the Bears' defense has recorded 26 defensive touchdowns (19 interceptions, 7 fumble returns). The club is 19-5 in contests in which they score a defensive TD during that span.

-Takeaways: The Bears are second in the league with nine takeaways. The team has intercepted six passes and forced three fumbles. The club's +3 turnover ratio is 7th best in the league.

-Red zone: Opponents have reached the red zone seven times this season, scoring just four times (three touchdowns, one field goal). That 57.1 scoring percentage is first in the league.

-First down: Bears opponents have had 53 first downs (15 rush, 33 pass, five penalties). Chicago's opponents are averaging 4.38 yards on first downs, 7th best.

-Third down: Opponents have converted nine of 37 third down attempts. That 24.3 conversion percentage is second best in the NFL.

-Safeties: Dating back to last season, safeties Chris Conte and Major Wright have started nine games together. In those nine contests, the Bears are holding quarterbacks to a 65.4 passer rating (141 of 243 for 2,236 yards, six TDs and 14 INTs). Both have interceptions this season and have combined for six over the past two years.

-Jennings: Tim Jennings leads the league with four interceptions. Chicago has six total picks, one by Wright and Conte each, both off tipped passes by Jennings. The fact that all six interceptions have been the direct results of Jennings' play is the reason he's currently the team MVP.

-McClellin: Shea McClellin has 2.0 sacks so far, which is second most among rookie defensive ends selected in the first two rounds of the 2012 draft. Seattle's Bruce Irvin (2.5), who was picked four spots ahead of McClellin, is first.

-Years of production: Since 2004, Lovie Smith's first year as head coach, Chicago's defensive rankings are as follows: takeaways, 1st (275); interceptions, 2nd (163); fumble recoveries, 2nd (112); three-and-out drives forced, 1st (445); three-and-out percentage, 1st (26.5 percent); third down percentage, 1st (33.8 percent); opp. yards per pass attempt, 2nd (6.54); opp. passer rating, 4th (76.2); opp. rushing average, 7th (4.0); opp. red zone scoring efficiency, 1st (79.4 percent); scoring defense, 4th (19.4 points per game).

Special teams

-Field position: The Bears' average starting field position is the 25.4-yard line, fifth best. Opponents are starting at their own 19.9, seventh best.

-Good as Gould: Robbie Gould has scored 26 points this season, 14th best. He is 6 for 6 in field goal attempts, with a long of 54, and has converted all eight of his extra point attempts. His 11 touchbacks are third most.

-Podlesh: Adam Podlesh is averaging 37.7 yards per punt, 26th worst in the league. His 37.7 net average is 22nd worst. He has placed just three of his 15 punts inside the opponent's 20-yard line.

-Hester: Devin Hester ranks 9th in punt return average (11.7), with a long of 23 yards and one fair catch. He ranks 9th in kickoff return average (27.3), with a long of 38.

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

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