Some Numbers to Chew On (Part Two)

Now we will look at the passing offenses of the 6 NFC playoff teams. The first group of numbers are completion percentage; yards per pass attempt; and TD passes:

Chicago:  59.2 completion %;  7.3 yards per attempt; 23 TDs

Atlanta:  62.6 %;  6.5 ypa;  28 TDs

Philadelphia:  62.0 %;  7.5 ypa;  28 TDs

Seattle:  59.6 %;  6.5 ypa;  14 TDs

New Orleans:  68.1 %;  7.0 ypa;  33 TDs

Green Bay:  65.1 %;  8.0 ypa;  31 TDs

One interesting thing of note is that the Bears, while having the 2nd-worst completion rate; have one of the best yards per pass attempt.  This means that we are probably taking more shots at mid-to-long range passes than any of the other teams. Think about this: if the Bears had the NFL average completion percentage, which is 62%, and kept the same pass attempt rate, our yards per attempt jumps to 7.8 ypa. The other interesting thing that jumps out is the low ypa for the Falcons, even with such a high completion rate. This means the Falcons rarely go downfield; and are content with safe, 5-6 yard passes, checkdowns, and screens. The NFL average for yards per COMPLETED pass is 12.3; the Falcons are at 9.8 yards per completion. I think you will see teams begin to dare Matt Ryan to throw downfield as the playoffs progress.

The next stats are explosive passing plays—pass plays of 20+ yards, and pass plays of 40+ yards:

Chicago:  42 passes of 20+ yards; 6 passes of 40+ yards

Atlanta:  32;  6

Philadelphia:  61;  15

Seattle:  39;  11

New Orleans:  47;  10

Green Bay:  57;  11

After the last stats, it should come as no surprise, then, that the Falcons had the fewest pass plays of at least 20 yards.   It did surprise me that they had less than the Seahawks, whose passing offense was one of the worst in the NFL. And I think its fair to note that of the Bears 48 pass plays of 20 yards or more, I would bet at least 70% of those cam in the last half of the season, primarily in the games against the Eagles, Jets, and Vikings; once the offensive line solidified and Martz opened up the playbook a little more.

The last group of stats are the negative passing plays—sacks and interceptions:

Chicago:  56 sacks allowed; 21 INTs

Atlanta:  23 ;  9

Philadelphia:  50;  13

Seattle:  35;  20

New Orleans:   26;  22

Green Bay:  38;  13

The first thing that surprised me is that for all the talk about Jay Cutler being a INT-machine, he threw 16 this season (Todd Collins somehow managed 5 INTs in 6 or 7 passing attempts); and The Great Drew Brees threw 22.  The Falcons are rarely getting sacked or picked off because they do not throw passes that have to travel more than 5 yards in the air.  Its clear that the Saints have the pass protection of the teams that are left in the NFC.

When you look at the Offensive numbers as a whole; with the exception of the Seahawks (who got in only because SOMEONE from the NFC West had to), the numbers of are all pretty consistent.  You can notice some trends, like the big play capability of the Eagles, and the conservative nature of the Falcons. But nothing that you probably would not notice just watching these teams for a few games. Teams are so evenly matched in the playoffs, it usually comes down to a few big plays or turnovers.

14 responses

  1. johnnyharvard

    jackhammerebm@yahoo.com. Thanks!

    January 6, 2011 at 9:56 am

    • you are the first contributor i have added; so let me know if you have any trouble or questions with how to post. one of the most important things to do is make sure you add as many applicable tags as you can; so we get lots of hits on search engines…and no porn please 🙂
      oh, and make sure you spell all of the words right LOL

      as long as you have no hangups with adding posts, I will be able to add everyone this way so they can all add posts too.

      January 6, 2011 at 11:02 am

  2. johnnyharvard

    Hey Ben I made a post of a topic on the message board. If you can repost it as a topic subject titled Bears look to the future I’d appreciate it. Not sure if thees a way to fix the site to post blogs freely on this site rather than having to make your own or not, but in the meantime I know you have to do it this way. Thanks man.

    January 6, 2011 at 9:07 am

    • not a problem. just give me the e-mail address you used to subscribe to the blog, and i can add you as a contributor, and you can add all the posts you want.

      January 6, 2011 at 9:34 am

  3. johnnyharvard

    I like this line by Cutler,”My confidence really hasn’t been shaken since Week One with all of the ups and downs that we went through,” Cutler said. “You could see week by week guys getting better and better and guys getting more confident. (Martz) is going to have a couple of extra days to prepare and really nail down what we want to do. So it’s going to be really fun to see what he comes up with.”

    I hope it’ll be real fun!

    January 5, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    • If we can keep the tunrovers down, I like our chances against anybody. Our defense can hcontain any offense in the NFC, as long as we arent giving them great field position on turnovers, and our return game is by far the best in the NFL, not just the NFC.

      January 5, 2011 at 6:31 pm

      • johnnyharvard

        Bears could also get beat by any team too. I recognize that too. It’ll be disappointing if they were out the first game here at home, but its all gravy from here. No one expected this except for a select few like you me and David. We all had an open mind about it. Its all about building what they have and not screw it up like the first time when they went to two consecutive playoffs and to a super bowl. To me that means keeping Lovie out of areas he’s not good at like personnel. he’s a good teacher so let him teach. Game plans on offense, Special teams and even defense should be off limits. Add to whats good and subtract the bad. Don’t boot good players like Harris for Archeletta, or Benson over Jones or start Anderson over brown and for Godsakes don’t fire you’re best and most respected coaches in Rivera and Fewell. And don’t draft busts like Okwo and Benzuin or whatever his name was. All moves associated with Lovies stamp of approval. This remains true even if they win the whole damn thing. No status quo, because if you need an upgrade you get one. thats how great organizations operate.

        January 5, 2011 at 6:41 pm

  4. johnnyharvard

    You want people to be skeptical? I want them to keep Martz and the staff if possible. Even if it means keeping Lovie who I don’t mind if he’s not very involved. I’m sure thats what you meant.

    Dan Pompei Bear beat writer who also writes for NFP had a nice article today talking about that very thing.


    January 5, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    • You know, some coaches are just better at managing players and delegating the actual gameplanning and teaching. theres nothing wrong with that. I mean, everyone in Chicago LOVES Ditka, right? How much of the defense did he actually have control over? In 2006, Lovie had Ron Rivera running the defense, and Ron Turner running the offense. He didnt have to do too much hen it came ot the actual strategy—just makes sure the players’ heads were right. Well, Rod Marinelli has really surprised me when it comes to actual gameday coaching as the DC, and Martz has really made our offense SCARY—when is the last time you could say that? And Toub has the return game rocking as usual. I meant i hope we dont do so well that any of these guys get offers to go elsewhere. Id like to see what happens if we keep this staff intact for two or three years.

      January 5, 2011 at 5:42 pm

      • johnnyharvard

        Oh and I actually don’t like Ditka too much. I think he did a poor job of keeping that group together. That team sould’ve won 3 or 4 super bowls. His decision to start Flutie over Tomszack really lost that team. Than they were all movie stars worried about where their next paycheck was going to come from for the latest endorsement opportunity, and Ditka was at the front of the line of the gravy train.

        January 5, 2011 at 6:33 pm

  5. johnnyharvard

    I’ve been making the argument about Jay’s percentage stats like YPP and 1st down % ect. If you recall I posted something to that effect on the facebook board in relation to his pro bowl eligibility. What I would love to see is stats compiled from the bye in comparison to the other teams in the league. I know you know this, but people are really discounting the fact the Bears have young inexperienced receivers, and a brand new complex offense they’re learning. the O-line is recognized as bad, but when Jay is getting judged no one seems to bring these factors up. The haters just come back with it being excuse making. To me its no different than having the proper tools to work with on the job. If you’re a tradesman and you have to lay a foundation you’re not going to do as good of a job on it with shovels and inexperienced workers as you would with a bulldozer and pro tradesman to execute the labor functions. I’d like to see Jay with a full compliment around him and be in a system for more than a year. Two things that tell me he’s the goods is when in Denver in that offense for more than a year he got better and better and started to peek till that idiot decided to break that very productive and dynamic offensive unit up. Also winning player of the year in the SEC with Vanderbilt is an amazing accomplishment. Just amazing! This isn’t even accounting for his immense skill set, and durability.

    January 5, 2011 at 9:48 am

    • no question. you give him Green Bay (Driver, Jennings, Jones, Finley) or even Philly’s (Jackson, Maclin, Avant, Celek) receiving corps, and i think we are talking about Jay in the top 4 or 5 QBs in the league. Also, People forget that this is his third offense in 3 years. Aaron Rodgers has had the same one since he was drafted, as has Matt Ryan. And I wont give Matt Ryan love until he has to win a game by flinging the ball around the field. I swear, 90& of his passes are within 3 yards of the line of scrimmage. the numbers back that up.

      January 5, 2011 at 10:49 am

      • johnnyharvard

        Of course it would. People have to take these things into account. Brady does more with less. Tats the only guy I can think of out there that is separate from all others. Its why he is a guy thats in the best of all time conversation. I wouldn’t put Brees or Manning in that conversation, and I for sure wouldn’t put Rogers or Rivers there. Others would. My standards for greatest of all time are a bit higher I guess. Maybe a guy or two can eventually get there, (like Rogers and Rivers), but so far theres no evidence to it except for Gaudy stats on teams loaded with talent and they’ve been the same system for their whole career. Even had a couple three years on the sidelines learning their craft from two of the best in the game in Favre and Brees.

        January 5, 2011 at 12:36 pm

      • thats one thing teams really understimate the importance of in a QBs develpment these days. In their zest to “win now”, you hire a different coach every two years, you keep plugging in a new OC every year—how can you expect a guy to get comfortable and excel? Look at all the greats—Joe Montana, Dan Marino, and now Brady and Manning—they operated the same offense their entire careers. by that third or fourth year they can probably read their progressions in their sleep. Thats why I hope people remain skeptical about Martz—because next year—especially if we get some WR help and OL help for Cutty—WOW.

        January 5, 2011 at 4:46 pm

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