DA BEARS, ALL DA TIME!

Some Numbers to Chew On (Part Four)

The Final Numbers we will look at are Special Teams Numbers. First, the return stats—Kick Return Average; Kick Returns of 40+ Yards; Punt Return Average; Punt Returns of 20+ Yards:

Chicago:  25.4 Yards Per Kick Return; 10 Kick Returns of 40+ Yards; 17.1 Yards Per Punt Return;  14 Punt Returns of 20+ Yards

Atlanta:  26.5 ; 5 ;  12.1 ;  2

Philadelphia:  20.5 ;  2 ;  10.6 ;  6

Seattle:  24.0 ;  7 ;  11.1 ;  10

New Orleans:  22.7 ;  0 ;  7.8 ;  4

Green Bay:  20.1 ;  5;  7.9 ; 5

The Bears obviously have the best return game in the league—with Devin Hester and Danieal Manning. The Seahawks can be dangerous in returns with Leon Wasington—but he is decidedly more adept at kickoff returns; and the Packers and Saints (missing Reggie Bush most of the season) are putrid in the return game. Now lets look at the coverage units.  Stats we will use are Kick Return Average Allowed; Kickoff Touchbacks Forced;  Punt Return Average Allowed; Punt Fair Catches Forced; and Punts Inside the 20 Yard Line:

Chicago:  23.8 Yards Per Kick Return Allowed;  16 Kickoff Touchbacks Forced;  7.8 Yards Per Punt Return Allowed;  10 Punt Fair Catches Forced;  24 Punts Inside the 20 Yard Line

Atlanta:  21.3 ;  23 ;  8.6 ;  24 ;  29

Philadelphia:  21.8 ;  23 ;  9.1 ; 21 ;  28

Seattle:  22.0 ;  20 ;  9.3 ;  23 ;  27

New Orleans :  24.1 ;  14 ;  11.9 ;  10 ;  21

Green Bay ;  21.8 ;  4 ;  11.0 ;  18 ;  25

A couple things jumped out at me on this one: 1) The Bears and Saints seem to have trouble forcing fair catches—either their gunners aren’t getting down field, or the punters are out-kicking the coverage units; and 2) The Packers have JUST 4 Touchbacks?  This could come into  play as they will face dynamic return men on the Eagles, Falcons and Bears.

 

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