Eliminating Excuses: Comparing The Bears and the Chargers
So I was doing some simple scouting of the Bears' next opponent, the Philadelphia Eagles. I fired up this last week's game the Eagles' game against the San Diego Chargers. While I was watching the game I heard a commentator make mention of the Chargers' running game being ranked last in the NFL. Interesting information that got my brain thinking and I decided to research the Chargers further.
So I figured I'd look into the Chargers as a team even further, to see if I could make a fair comparison against our own Chicago Bears.
Up first overall record, the Chargers are 6-3 and the Bears are 4-5 a two game difference in the standings with the Chargers tied with the Broncos for first in the AFC West.
Then I decided to look further into the Chargers' rushing attack to see just how much worse their rushing attack is compared to Chicago's.
The Chargers are essentially last in every category you could measure a successful rushing attack by. They are last in total yards, last in average yards per carry, and last in yards per game. A sure fire sign that there are offensive line problems in San Diego, I thought.
So from there I decided why not look up how well the Chargers protect the quarterback if they give up less sacks than the Bears do. Nope the Chargers have given up more sacks than the Bears this season meaning hot shot QB Phillip Rivers is being pressured and sacked more often than his old rival Jay Cutler.
Digging further I came to look upon the Chargers defense and analyze where their defense stacks up compared to Chicago's defense.
The Chargers have given up more total yards and just only one total point more than the Bears. Meaning their scoring defenses through nine games are essentially even. Meaning the argument from a statistical stand point on defense is that the Chargers struggle on defense more than the Bears.
Then you look at defensive schemes, the Chargers run the 3-4 and the Bears the 4-3, meaning the 3-4 can be just as poor as a 4-3 even with arguably better personnel than what the Bears have.
Then I decided to look at the Chargers' opponents and the win loss record of those opponents to find out who has a tougher schedule. The Chargers' opponents have won a total of 37 games and 44 losses, the Bears' nine opponents 38 wins and 43 losses. So the strength of schedule of both teams in essentially a wash.
Then you dig in further to the Chargers' offensive system led by Norv Turner, uh Ron Turner's brother. So essentially they come from the same coaching tree and run the same type of offensive systems. That essentially makes the offensive systems a wash too.
So what does this statistical analysis mean? Well it means the next time you find hear a Chicago Bears fan make the following arguments for the Bears' failures this season:
Argument myth number one from Bears fans: Well if we had a better rushing attack we'd have a better record; False because the Bears' rushing attack is better than the Chargers' yet they have a 6-3 record.
Argument myth number two from Bears fans: Well if we had a better pass blocking offensive line we'd have a better record: False the Phillip Rivers has been sacked more than Jay Cutler and the Chargers have a 6-3 record.
Argument myth number three from Bears fans: Well if we had a better defense we'd have a better win loss record; False the Bears have a better overall defense than the San Diego Chargers and yet the Chargers still have a better record.
Argument myth number four from Bears fans: Well Ron Turner's offensive system sucks and it limits the success of Jay Cutler and the rest of the Bears' offense; False Norv Turner and Ron Turner come from the same coaching tree and run very similar style of offenses, yet the Chargers have a better overall record.
Anyway you get the idea that fans of the Chicago Bears seem to want to blame every aspect of the failure of this season upon the previously aforementioned stats and information that point to the actual reasons why the Bears sit at 4-5. The reason the Bears are essentially out of the playoff race Bears fans say is the fault of everyone else on the team, but Jay Cutler's fault.
Yet when you break down the statistical arguments and offensive personnel and defensive personnel arguments Bears fans bring up with the San Diego Chargers' same problems and their struggles, the only thing left standing is one simple fact, Jay Cutler and his 17 INTs. Cutler's old nemesis Philip Rivers and his team and the struggles they face his INT total? Rivers has a total of six INTs on the season.
So much for that weak argument put forth by Bears fans that it is essentially everyone's fault, but Cutler's the entire basis for their argument was destroyed by doing some simple research and comparisons.
This type of argument that is prevalent among other blogs and message boards as the reason the Bears have a 4-5 record and face near certain elimination from the playoffs this weekend with a loss to the Eagles is the reason I do this blog. To provide a fair and balanced look at the Chicago Bears and what they do well and what they don't do well and why they struggle. I want this to be the foremost resource Bears fans go to find out the truth about the team and not just simply hear a myth or a falsehood and then repeat it because they want to agree with it.
You won't find this type of information on any other website on the internet and therefore you likely won't hear a change in the excuses that the majority of Bears fans spit out in regards to the initial failure to the 2009 NFL season.
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