Statistically Breaking Down the Chicago Bears Defense

Tim-Jennings

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: the Bear’s defense is the key to their success.

 

I’m not a guy who relates every sports argument back to stats. We all know that guy, though. He can usually be found saying ignorant things such as:

“Well, the stats say X so you guys don’t have a chance tonight.”

It’s so gratifying to me when their statistically based predictions go wrong. That’s why the game isn’t played on paper.

But I’m aware stats do have a place in sports, that’s why we keep them. 3 games worth of information isn’t really enough to make long term projections, but I want to take the stats that we have so far and give some context to this up and down season we’re witnessing.

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2012-2013 NBA Rookie of the Year prediction

Anthony Davis

Is this really fair? I think we all know who will be Rookie of the Year once the season is over. Anthony Davis is the consensus choice for ROY and here is why. [Read more…]

2012 Fantasy Football Preview: D/ST

Football fans, you’re Christmas is right around the corner. Preseason games have already started and the regular season is right around the corner. Nearly as important, the fantasy football season is finally here! In the coming weeks, we will prepare you ready for the upcoming fantasy season by breaking every position. First up, we’ll rank the top the top defense & special team units.

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NBA Playoffs: May the toughest team win

Paul Pierce and Jrue Holiday

There has been nothing pretty about the series between the Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics. The past few games have been rather rough to watch. Both teams have scored less than 20 points in a quarter in 17 times so far in this series. And we are going to a Game 7, back in Boston on Friday night. This series has been trademarked by great (and I mean great) defense and struggling offenses, due to the great defense.

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UCLA Basketball: Back on the Map? You Bet!

UCLA Bruins

UCLA Bruins head coach Ben Howland has had a disappointing past few seasons. The Reeves Nelson-saga really wore-on the UCLA program and brought the program down. It seems like the dark days are behind the Bruins and Howland, though. Thanks to a great recruiting class for the upcoming season, the Bruins are poised to make a PAC-12 title run and a run at a national championship. Howland has put the Bruins back on the map. Here’s why: [Read more…]

Welcome Back, Indiana Pacers

Welcome back, NBA.

And welcome back, Indiana Pacers.

The early-morning agreement Nov. 26 between the league and the players’ union ensures the highest level of professional basketball will be played — albeit under a shortened schedule.

The great news for the Pacers — one of the NBA’s small-market franchises — is that this tentative collective bargaining agreement, which will give players roughly 51.2 percent of basketball-related revenue, will allow teams from any market to be competitive in free agency and, by extension, on the basketball court.

It’s been way too long, folks. Let’s get to examining what the Pacers can do before the condensed season commences and what kind of team they’ll be in 2011-12.

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Indianapolis Colts Feeling Effects of Peyton Manning’s Absence

So it’s really going to be this way.

The Indianapolis Colts really are struggling this mightily without Peyton Manning at quarterback, as evidenced in Sunday’s 27-19 loss to the Cleveland Browns in the team’s home opener at Lucas Oil Stadium.

The Colts, 0-2 for the first time since Manning’s rookie season, lost 34-7 to Houston in Week 1, but the Texans had a much better pass rush than the Browns, and the Colts defense played in a similarly sluggish fashion against Houston in last year’s season opener.

You’d figure the Week 2 matchup with Cleveland at home would be a better indicator of how the Colts can do without Manning. It was.

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Fantasy Football Studs, Duds & Sleepers: AFC South

chris johnson

With the NFL lockout finally behind us, football fans can finally turn our attention from the courtrooms and onto the field, where it belongs. In the final edition of his preseason fantasy rankings, I rank the fantasy studs, duds and sleepers in the AFC South.

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Notre Dame’s Biggest Strength: Possibly Defensive Front 7

In last season’s wins over Utah, Army and USC, the Notre Dame defense allowed an average of just 233.3 yards per game. In the first nine games of the season, the Fighting Irish allowed 393.1 yards per game. After surrendering 20+ points in six of the first nine contests in 2010, the Irish rebounded from their 4-5 start to go 4-0 down the stretch (including the Sun Bowl win over Miami). In that undefeated stretch, they averaged less than 10 ppg against.

The growth and development of the defense is one reason many college football pundits are very high on the Irish this season; and it starts with their fearsome front seven.

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Florida State’s Killer Defense Makes them Dangerous NCAA Tourney Team

Chris Singleton Florida State

VCU may be America’s lovable underdogs, but their opponent Friday night in San Antonio, the Florida State Seminoles, are probably the college basketball team no one wants to play right now. The Florida State defense, led by Peter Boulware, Derrick Brooks, Deion Sanders and Terrell Buckey (whoops, force of habit, sorry wrong FSU defense) is the best in the nation.

They held Texas A&M to 50 points and 31% shooting in their first tournament game. Then they dominated a high-scoring, hot shooting Notre Dame Fighting Irish team; holding them to 31% shooting, 23% from three.

The scary part? They did it all with jsut minimal minutes from their best player and defender, the ACC defensive player of the year Chris Singleton.

By Paul M. Banks

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Defensive Ends aplenty in this year’s NFL Draft

By Paul M. Banks

There are plenty of places to get 2010 NFL Draft prospect lists. But why stop at just providing a mere list? I’m giving you a prediction of where I think all of these great defensive ends (one of this draft’s most loaded positions) will end up in the draft this April.

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Fire tie TFC, another disappointing 2-2 performance

Justin MappDeRo

By Alex Simon

It was an ugly performance by both teams’ backlines Saturday night.  However, a late inexcusable mistake by a Fire substitute let the visiting TFC (Toronto FC) side off the hook.  Thus, the Fire played to a 2-2 tie against Toronto.

While Chicago’s playmaker Cuauhtémoc Blanco was sidelined with a strained hamstring, TFC’s star player, DeRo (Dwayne De Rosario), made his presence felt from the get-go.  In the 6th minute, DeRo scored off a defensive blunder by C.J. Brown and Wilman Conde.

“We’re gift wrapping goals. It’s like Christmas time. If they beat us with a good goal, fair enough, but quit giving away easy goals and putting ourselves behind the eight-ball. That’s the bottom line,” said Fire goalkeeper Jon Busch after the match.

DeRo was able to pick apart the shaky Fire defense once again, this time coming in the first minute of the second half.  The Fire D failed to get back on a TFC counterattack as DeRo sent a beautiful cross in the box, scored by unmarked ex-Fire forward Chad Barrett.

Fortunately for the Fire, as bad as their defense was, Toronto’s Nick Garcia was worse.  The Fire’s first goal came on a TFC own goal in the 14th minute, when Garcia chested the ball into his own net.  Then in the 78th minute, Garcia was caught ball watching and left Brian McBride wide open for the easy header from a Justin Mapp cross, equalizing the game at 2-2.  (Garcia’s lackadaisicalness on McBride’s goal was frighteningly similar to an Eddy Curry box out). mcbride

The Fire had several scoring opportunities late in the game.  None would be as good as the one the Fire had in the last play of the game.  With the game level 2-2 in the 93rd, Fire forward Patrick Nyarko beat his defender and passed to a running teammate.  Unfortunately, that teammate was late sub, Calen Carr.  With the goalie nowhere to be found, Carr just needed a simple tap in from a foot away from goal to be the hero.  Carr hit the ball wide of the goal, leaving 16,890 Fire faithful dejected with how the game ended.

Chicago vs Toronto Highlights 9/26/09

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly against TFC

The Good

Justin Mapp:
He was tremendous.  This was the best I have seen Mapp play since the Soldier Field days.  IF Mapp can play at a similar level in the remaining games of the regular season, he can expect major minutes in the playoffs.

Brian McBride:
Back in August, team doctors thought McBride would be out for the season after having shoulder surgery.  “Superman” is back and most importantly, healthy.  I asked McBride how the shoulder felt after last week’s game against Columbus, saying the shoulder was a non-issue.  He proved that against Toronto, giving TFC fits all night.

The Bad

Injuries:

With only three games remaining in the season, now is not the time to be dealing with injuries with the playoffs coming up.  Rolfe was a late scratch but the Fire said it was just precautionary.  Ward and Woolard are still out, but players I think we can do without.  Although Banner played well at left back, a healthy Segares is a major step up.  The same goes for Thorrington.  Not only is Thorrington a good player, but also provides toughness and grit that this team is lacking without him.  With Soumare gone, Thorrington would be a huge help to Conde and C.J.  With that said, if Blanco is not ready to go come playoff time, it does not matter how the other Fire injuries play out.  Blanco is without question our best and most valuable player, and without him, there will be NO deep playoff run.

The Ugly

The D:

The Calen Carr rant and why the f#$% Hamlet put him in the game to begin with is ridiculous, but I think and pray that the Calen Carr era is over. (Carr’s miss was equivalent to a kicker missing an extra point to win the game)  Carr won’t matter in the playoffs, but the defense will, and they really need to figure their s— out.