I posted some interesting stats and rankings yesterday for the Bears game (Panthers 7th in offense, 24th rushing, tied for 4 passing, 17th in defense, 25th rushing, 14th passing. Bears 23rd in offense, 31st running, 17th passing, 25th in defense, 18th running, and 26th in pass defense), and here are some more, from ProFootballWeekly's Pat Fitzmaurice.
Football Outsiders ranks the Bears O-Line 30th in pass blocking (with 14 sacks), and dead last in run blocking.
The Bears are only averaging 3.2 YPC, with only 161 rushing yards in their first 3 games.
The Bears only had 13 yards rushing on only 12 carries against the Packers last week.
The Bears TE's only have 5 catches for 62 yards in 3 games, as TE Matt Spaeth is just being used as another O-Lineman, with only Davis being much of a pass catcher, but you can't catch from the bench.
Opposing TE's are averaging 6 catches for 78 yards against the Bears, and Packers TE Jermichael Finley had 3 TD's against them last week.
Bears QB Jay Cuttler Is 62 of 114, for 54.4% completions, a 82.4 QB Rating, while passing on 69.1% of plays.
Here are the Bears receiving stats so far:
RB Matt Forte - 22 catches for 287 yards, 13.0 YPC, and 1 TD.
WR Johnny Knox - 9 catches for 189 yards, 21.0 YPC.
WR Dane Sanzenbacher - 9 catches for 66 yards, only 7.3 YPC, but 2 TD's.
WR Devin Hester - 7 catches for 139 yards, 19.9 YPC.
WR Roy Williams - 4 catches for 55 yards, 13.8 YPC.
TE Kellen Davis - 3 catches for 55 yards, 18.3 YPC, and 1 TD.
WR Earl Bennett - 3 catches for 20 yards, 6.7 YPC.
WR Sam Hurd - 2 catches for 30 yards, 15.0 YPC
TE Matt Spaeth - 2 catches for 7 yards, 3.5 YPC, and 1 TD.
Conclusions about these passing numbers: Cuttler is throwing so many passes to Forte in part because he's having to dump the ball off early to avoid the pass rush. Most of the Bears receivers (except for Sanzenbacher, Bennett, and Spaeth) are mostly boom (long catch) or bust (incompletions) receivers, which might bode well agains the Panthers (passes of 49, 55, 70, and 84 yards in their first 2 games).
What a good Panthers defensive game plan migh look like: Cuttler says the 14 sacks (along with the hits and hurries) have him feeling pressure that dosen't exist, so show him a few surprise CB/S blitz's to shake him up. Use LB blitz's as well, but delayed blitz's, staying back to stop the dumpoff passes to Forte, and only shooting through open pass rushig gaps as they open up. Generally keep the S's back, to prevent big play passing connections. Don't worry much about the Bears running games, Martz's out of balance play calling will hold their running game in check.
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