A Season-Long Comparative Look at the NFC North

A Season-Long Comparative Look at the NFC North
Graphic by Chicago Bears Huddle

If the 2010 NFL season taught us anything, it was that every team has a shot to win it all. All you have to do is make the playoffs. Once you’re in, nothing else matters. You can laugh about the ten sacks you gave up to the New York Giants in Week-4. (“Good for them. They didn’t even make the playoffs, and we’re one game away from the Super Bowl.”) The Bears, for all they weren’t in 2010, were one game away from playing for the dream. One game.

Take the Seattle Seahawks for example. Like it or not, in 2010, the ‘Hawks soared (pun intended) their way into the Playoffs with the lowest win percentage of any playoff team in NFL history at .438. They had the worst run-game in the NFL, were ranked 28th in total offense and 27th in total defense throughout the league. But, they made the playoffs, hosted a playoff game and won it! They would go on to be the gate through which the Bears passed to enter the NFC title game.

The same reason the Giants, who finished 10-6 and crushed the Bears in Week-4, did not make the Playoffs in 2010 is the same reason why the Seahawks, who finished 7-9, hosted a playoff game. The Philadelphia Eagles won the NFC East, and the Seattle Seahawks won the abysmal NFC West.

After the Bears took a beating this past Sunday down in New Orleans, in which they gave up six sacks and 10 QB hits, all too reminiscent of that 2010 Giants debacle, Bears fans are so very close to the panic button. I don’t blame them. But, keep in mind that if it weren’t for that Giants game in 2010, the Bears may never have made the adjustments necessary to go on that exciting run the second half of the season. Maybe I’m stretching to give you reason to be hopeful, but there’s no denying the validity.

The realities of the 2010 Chicago Bears’ season defied the laws NFL physics, if you will. I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen a team stay so healthy throughout a season as the Bears did. Likewise, I KNOW I have never a team face so many opponents who suddenly had a Pro Bowler go down the week before they were scheduled to play them. After two weeks of play, it’s clear that the Bears will not have that same luck in 2011. The team has as many as nine players, seven of whom are starters, currently on their injury report.

The road to another Chicago Bears playoff berth will lie in the NFC North; a division that looks to be one of the toughest in the NFL. That’s the first goal of any team in the league: take care of the teams in your division. So, while we’re coming off some knee-jerk reaction to a tough loss, the fact remains that the Bears are 1-1 (.500) and they have not lost a game to a division opponent. That’s not to say the Saints game won’t come into play should the Bears find themselves vying for a Wild Card position but, for now, it’s time to move on and focus on the Division.

The Packers, whom the Bears have played very well in recent years, are up next. Goal number one is to come away with a ‘W’. So, in the spirit of that, Chicago Bears Huddle has decided to take a season-long comparative look at the NFC North game-by-game. After each week, you will be able to find important team stats as well as Division leaders right here on Chicago Bears Huddle.

What makes our stats better than those on NLF.com and the like? We will be keeping them in a comparative spreadsheet, looking at only those teams within the NFC North. If you’d like to do all that work yourself, go for it. But why not let us do it for you! We pooled our collective brains to compile what we thought were some of the most telling numbers available. Here’s what we’ll be looking at:

  • Total offensive yards
  • Total points scored
  • Third down efficiency
  • Redzone efficiency
  • Quarterback sacks allowed
  • Quarterback hits allowed
  • Yards allowed
  • Defensive sacks
  • Defensive quarterback hits
  • Defensive stops on third down
  • Team penalties

We’ll publish a link to the updated stat-sheet after each week. Here’s a look after Week-2. Below is a look at the summary section. Hope you enjoy!

Offense
Totals Total Yards Total Points Third Down Efficiency Redzone Efficiency QB Sacks QB Hits
Bears 623 43 26.5% 66.5% 11 16
Lions 842 75 25.5% 66.5% 0 6
Packers 818 72 53.5% 62.5% 3 6
Vikings 585 37 40.5% 50.0% 4 4
Defense
Yards Allowed QB Sacks QB Hits Stops on Third Down Penalties
768 6 13 61.1% 14
582 4 6 69.5% 12
952 7 13 44.8% 13
742 4 9 47.7% 17
NFC North Standings
Division Rank Team Record Division Record Conference Record
1 Lions 2-0 0-0 1-0
2 Packers 2-0 0-0 2-0
3 Bears 1-1 0-0 1-1
4 Vikings 0-2 0-0 0-1

Filed under: NFC North

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  • Tough time formatting in WordPress. The second set of defensive stats is in the same order top to bottom as the offensive stats: Bears, Lions, Packers, Vikings. Of course, you can just click the link in the post to view the stats as well.

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