One of the key elements to the success of this year’s version of the Chicago Bears has been the team’s ability to put points on the scoreboard when their offense is not on the field.
The Bears this year have scored seven touchdowns by interception return and one via blocked punt in nine games. Those eight TDs when the Bears offense was not on the field tops the NFL. Here’s a look at how many defensive and return TDs have been scored by each team (through games of Nov. 12):
Football pundits talk quite frequently about takeaways and giveaways, and how teams have to win that battle. If we apply that concept to return/defensive TDs, we get a similar take. For example: The Bears have eight return/defensive TDs and have allowed two, a plus-six. They top the league in that category. Thirteen teams have a plus factor in this category. They are:
Chicago (+6), Denver (+5), Washington (+4), Baltimore (+3), Houston (+2), Indianapolis (+2), Minnesota (+2), New England (+2), N.Y. Jets (+2), Tampa Bay (+2), Green Bay (+1), New Orleans (+1), N.Y. Giants (+1).
You will notice something interesting about this list of 13. Ten of the 13 have winning records. In fact, if you take the 13 teams that have a plus-factor in this category, their won-lost record so far this season is 71-46 (.607). Teams with a minus-factor are 39-61-1 (.391). The Detroit Lions and Philadelphia Eagles are both minus-six in this category, last place in this category. Both teams have not scored a TD via return or defense, but have allowed their opponents to score six.
Two teams, Indianapolis and New England (both 6-3), have yet to allow their opponents to score a TD via return or defense.
Here’s a couple more stats:
* Those teams that have scored four or more TDs via return or defense have a combined record of 44-29 (.603 winning percentage). Those that have scored one or no TDs via return or defense are 49-58-2 (.459 winning percentage).
* Teams that have allowed three or more TDs via return or defense are 30-61 (.330 winning percentage). Teams that have allowed only one or no TDs via this manner are 68-41-1 (.623 winning percentage).
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