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soulman

We Really Need To Pin This One 'Til January

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I'm glad they waited to cut Fox, it got us Nagy who had a great first year and is a ton of fun.

Imagine if we'd gotten Gase and Mariota or something...

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9 hours ago, soulman said:

So.....this is one reason many of us discard Mitch's rookie year as being  basically useless in his development and look at 2018 more as if it was his rookie year.

 

Quoted for truth. 

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On 8/28/2019 at 2:39 PM, big_palooka said:

I am Raider fan, but I actually like the Bears and have rooted for them over the years. 

Forgot to comment on this. I've blabbed and blabbed about it, but the entirety of these forums is pretty vast and you may have missed this, but I really, truly believe the Raiders are headed in the right direction. This years draft may not have been the flashiest, but it was sure solid, and necessary. Everything is lining up for them. 

Oh, and spiffy choice for a secondary team to root for, btw. ;)

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@big_palooka

Glad to see another outsider coming into our little part of the forum and sharing your opinions respectfully, so kudos to you for that, sir. I also know this is kind of old news now but I still felt the need to chime in here anyhow after reading through the thread. (I haven't been around in awhile, so it's new to me dammit) . I also have alot to say so grab a beer or a cup of coffee and relax for a few. B|

First off, the Bears defense was predicated on playing smart, sound football in all fundamental aspects (not missing tackles, not committing stupid penalties, trusting the system and each other to do their job) and were not just a opportunistic defense that got lucky by being in right place at the right time. This isn't the 2009 Saints defense.

And the "look at their strength of schedule this year" is the worst argument ever made by any fan, imo, and I can't even begin to tell you how much I wish people would stop using this as a relevant point of contention to disregard another team. Because all that is suggesting is that every team in the league will remain the same as last year, except said team, and history has proven this over and over to not be true at all, unless you're the Patriots. *sigh---excuse me while I down my beer now out of a sheer, sudden, overwhelming feeling of disgust and despair.

Another one of my pet peeves is whenever someone uses the DVOA system wrong-- which is usually because they don't fully understand how it works -- and that's exactly what you are doing here by only looking at rankings instead of the most important info that it provides, which are the calculated numbers themselves. So let me explain it to you and put some context behind these numbers because I don't think you really understand just how good the Bears defense was last year. Keep in mind, it's a zero sum game, a plus (+) is good for offense and bad for defense. A negative(-) is bad for offense and good for defense.

They were not your usual run of mill #1 defense-- they were on a whole nother level. 

  • The 2018 Bears defense finished with a historic overall DVOA of (negative) -26.00% and a weighted DVOA of -26.90%. The league average DVOA of the other 31 teams was (plus) +0.76%. The closest was BUF with a DVOA of (negative) -14.5% (WDVOA -16.4%), or nearly half of what the Bears finished with <--that's how big the gap was from the #1 and #2 spots. 
  • This means they were 26% better than the league average defense and nearly 10% better than the 2nd best defense(9.6%).

Since 1989, there has only been 23 other defenses to finish with a DVOA of -20.0% or higher.

  • Just to put that number in better perspective, we're talking about 23 out of 925 charted teams (or only 2.5%). So as you can see, finishing with a -20% or above is a very rare thing to accomplish alone in itself and it's even more impressive whenever a defense can attain such a feat with today's offensive driven game. 

______________
Now, let's compare to the 2017 Jaguars defense since that seem to be part of the narrative here.
I'll break it down on why there is really no comparison, why the Jags DVOA is very deceiving, and why their defense was not sustainable. 

  • '17 JAX = Overall DVOA -16.20% (51st best all-time since 1989)
  • '18 CHI = Overall DVOA -26.00% (7th best all-time since 1989)

1) The 2017 Jags defense had an insanely easy schedule. They had the 31st easiest schedule that year -- their opponents average offensive DVOA was a negative -5.10% which is tied for 71st easiest schedule since 1989.

2) Their overall DVOA was largely carried by their pass defense while their run defense ranked 27th in the league with a DVOA of -2.8%. Unlike the Bears who were great in both facets of the game.

Pass Defense (yr rank)--all-time rank

  • '17 JAX: -27.60%(1st)--T-17th all-time
  • '18 CHI:  -25.20%(1st)--25th all-time

Run Defense (yr rank)--all-time rank

  • '17 JAX: -2.80%(27th)--555th all-time since '89  out of 925 teams
  • '18 CHI: -27.30%(2nd)--T-13th all-time since '89 out of 925 teams

3) They were inconsistent, despite having a easy schedule. The '17 Jags finished with the 29th worst variance percentage of 7.6% with the lg average being 5.8% that season. The '18 Bears finished with a variance of 4.9%(10th) with the lg average being 5.7% and would have been even better had Mack not missed 2 games. This data shows that not only were the Bears great, but they were consistently great all season and that is not just numbers proven either. You also saw this on tape as well while watching them---aka, their numbers matched the eye test. The same cannot be said for the Jags.
 

4) To expand a bit more on their inconsistency, they had an astounding DVOA of -21.8% in the first half of the season and those numbers dropped in the second half by -11.2% down to -10.6%, so they were already on a down-spiral to end the season. Their weighted-DVOA also proves this to be true as well since it was significantly lower(-3.1) than their overall was with a -13.1% .

Meanwhile, the 2019 Bears defense had a DVOA of -20.1% in the first half and a -31.8% in the second, ending the year on a very high note while showing they were not only consistently dominate all year but actually got even better down the stretch with a weighted-DVOA of -26.9%.

________________
Now to your point about the inevitable decline on defense this season. You're right, it's not likely that they repeat the same success but how much of a step backwards are you talking about here becuase, barring several major key injuries, even a step back would still put them at the top of the league.

Are you expecting say...a 10.0% decline in DVOA? 
If that's the case, then the Bears with a -16.0% would still have been good enough to be the #1 defense in 2018, #2 in 2017,  #2 in 2016, #3 in 2015, #2 in 2014, #3 in 2013, #2 in 2012,#3 in 2011....etc, etc --you get the point.

How about even half of what their DVOA was in 2018, say.....-13.0%?
That would have been good enough for #4 in 2018, #4 in 2017, #4 in 2016, #6 in 2015, #5 in 2014, #5 in 2013, #7 in 2012, #5 in 2011.....

How about a major plummet, say.....-15.0% DVOA decline? 
That would put the Bears at a -11.00% which would have been good for #4 in 2018, #6 in 2017, #5 in 2016, #7 in 2015, 5th in 2014, #7 in 2013, #7 in 2012, #6 in 2011.....

Let's see what history has to say. As I have already shown, the Bears defense were historically great last season(7th best DVOA all-time), so let's look at the other top 25 defenses in DVOA and see how they fared the following season and if they declined, and if so, by how much.

Here are the top 25 (well, actually top 26 since I removed the '18 Bears for obvious reasons)

fupSE8P.png

 

So as you can see above. Yes, all but two defenses "declined" the following season but teams with this strong of defenses have fared pretty well the very next year.  
--15 out of 25 teams made the playoffs the following season and 3 made it to the SB. 
--20 out of 25 teams still finished with a top-10 defense the following season (the med average is ranked 5--the avg finishing with a top-7) 

  • The avg difference in DVOA is -14.8%.  If this holds true for the '19 Bears, that puts them at -11.2 this year.
  • The med avg difference in DVOA is -13.0%. If this holds true for the '19 Bears, that puts them at -13.0 this year.
  • The med avg DVOA is -10.9. If this holds true for the '19 Bears, that puts them at -15.1 this year.

    Unrelated Side note: Look at all of them great defenses the Ravens have had and only have 1 SB to show for it! OUCH!
    It really shines a light on what playing in the same division as one of the most consistent winning teams of all time (in Pittsburgh) while also playing in the same conference as a Peyton Manning and Tom Brady for 20 years can really do to a team doesn't it? Haha. Feel so bad for them. 

_________________
Now, these are just numbers so let me put some context behind a few of them just to give you an idea of what a "decline" really looks like for a dominant defense and explain why they declined and compare them to the Bears current situation.

  • The 1991 Eagles ranked 1st in defense (obviously) with a record breaking DVOA of -42.4%. The following year they ranked 2nd with a DVOA of -18.7% (-24.30% decline).
  • WHy did they "decline"?
    Do I really need to explain this? Ok. fine. I will. Yes, they declined. But that "decline" still netted them a DVOA of 18.7 which was good enough for the 32nd highest DVOA since 1989 and also a playoff spot. 
  • How do they compare to the 2019 Bears?
    Well, the '91 Eagles saw a 56% decline and I already showed you above how the Bears would fare if there defense saw a -15.0% decline, which is actually a 58% decline, so you do the math.
    A 58% decline == "That would put the Bears at a -11.00% which would have been good for #4 in 2018, #6 in 2017, #5 in 2016, #7 in 2015, 5th in 2014, #7 in 2013, #7 in 2012, #6 in 2011....."

     
  • The 2002 Bucs ranked 1st in defense with a DVOA of -31.8%. The following year they ranked 3rd with a DVOA of -17.6% (-14.2% decline). 
  • Why did they "decline"?
    Shelton, Sapp and Lynch all started to show their age. Lets also be clear, the 2002 Bucs had the 18th easiest offensive schedule of all-time in 2002 so the decline was no surprise (and I use the word "decline" loosely as a -17.6% DVOA is nothing to sneeze at).
  • How do they compare to the 2019 Bears?
    The Bears  have one of the youngest defenses in the NFL that is loaded with talent at all 3 phases(DL, LB, Secondary) and are not coming off a season where played a bunch of scrub offenses to pad their stats.
     
  • The 2008 Steelers ranked 1st in defense with a DVOA of -29.0%. The following year they ranked 9th with a DVOA of -4.6% (-24.4% decline).
  • Why did they "decline"?
    Hmm.....where do I start? The loss of Smith to injury? The aging Farrior? Or how about losing one of the best safeties to ever play the game to injury for the season! That'll cause a decline to any team, every time. 
  • How do they compare to the 2019 Bears?
    Our core players are still young and injuries could happen to any team. If they do happen to the Bears this season like they did with '08 Steelers, then it is what it is.
     
  • The 2004 Bills ranked 1st in defense with a DVOA of -28.5%. The following year they ranked 25th with a DVOA of +8.6% (-37.7% decline).
  • Why did they "decline"?
    They still had no offense to speak of in order to help keep the defense rested. They also lost Takeo Spikes for the season and the core of their interior defense, Pat Williams, went to the Vikes.  
  • How do they compare to the 2019 Bears?
    The Bears didn't lose any linebackers. The game starts up front and the Bears didn't lose any of their interior players in the off-season. If anything, it gets better with Mack getting in a full camp and off-season. Plus, the development of Bilal Nicols, who had limited playing time due to Eddie Goldman but made the most of every opportunity last year and looked like an absolute monster. Very excited to watch him grow and that's not just the Bear fan in me talking either.
     
  • The 2008 Ravens ranked 2nd in defense with a DVOA of -27.8%. The following year they ranked 4th with a DVOA of -14.2% (13.8% decline).
  • Why did they "decline"?
    They lost their DC in Rex Ryan, had injuries on defense and still finished with the 4th best defense in football, a 9-7 record and a playoff appearance.
  • How do they compare to the 2019 Bears?
    The Bears lost their DC and injuries can happen to any team. If there is any defense on this entire list that you could use to compare to the Bears current situation, it would be this one and I would concede to that statement. I recognized it right away but still kept it here just to show I'm not being biased here and cherry picking anything.
     
  • The 2012 Bears ranked 1st in defense with a DVOA of -26.7%. The following year they ranked 25th with a DVOA of +8.7% (-35.4% decline)
  • Why did they "decline"?
    A major overhaul will do this to any team including an entirely new staff and most importantly, losing one of the greatest linebackers in history to retirement. 
  • How do they compare to the 2019 Bears?
    Well....they don't. In any way, shape or form. I think it's safe to say this doesn't happen to the 2019 Bears.
     
  • The 2013 Seahawks ranked 1st in defense with a DVOA of -25.9%. The follow year they ranked 1st with a DVOA of -16.8% (-9.1% decline)
  • Why did they "decline"?
    If you call a conference champ and SB appearance with the #1 defense in the league a "decline" then I don't know what to tell you.
  • How do they compare to the 2019 Bears?
    Both teams had one of the youngest talented defenses in the league and did not lose any key contributors. The only difference is that Nagy won't be stupid enough to pass the ball on the goal line.

__________________

In conclusion, yes, a decline on defense is inevitable but barring any major injury(s) they are still in a good position to be a top defense and one of the best teams in the league no matter how you wanna look at it. With a defense this good, Mitch doesn't need to play like a top-5 QB -- he only needs to play above average. 

Edited by JustAnotherFan

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Unless we get hit with the injury bug(And we don't want to see that happen) less than 10 wins would be disappointing.  We're a very solid team.  We need depth in a few areas, but overall we can average 20+ points a game and our D is good enough to keep opponents under 20. 

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On 8/30/2019 at 5:35 PM, Heinz D. said:

Forgot to comment on this. I've blabbed and blabbed about it, but the entirety of these forums is pretty vast and you may have missed this, but I really, truly believe the Raiders are headed in the right direction. This years draft may not have been the flashiest, but it was sure solid, and necessary. Everything is lining up for them. 

Oh, and spiffy choice for a secondary team to root for, btw. ;)

Getting back on this... The Raiders are the Raiders.... a poorly run organization. This Antonio Brown thing is the latest in an ongoing saga of WTF were you thinking decisions. 

That said, I do like the potential of this core group. Great character guys. Hoping the move to Vegas just gives them a clean slate and they can operate like a modern day organization without a constant finger poke in their unpatched eye. 

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On 8/31/2019 at 12:11 AM, JustAnotherFan said:

In conclusion, yes, a decline on defense is inevitable but barring any major injury(s) they are still in a good position to be a top defense and one of the best teams in the league no matter how you wanna look at it. With a defense this good, Mitch doesn't need to play like a top-5 QB -- he only needs to play above average.

That was a heck of a dissertation. Thanks for the insight. Right now, the Mitch being above average part seems to be the Achilles heal. One game in, but certainly starting to reach that "he ain't it" territory. Chicago needs him to be even average right now. If he fails, the QB market with no first round picks is a scary place. Hate to see yet another quality Bears defense hamstrung by a bad QB. This formula has to get old for you all.

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8 hours ago, big_palooka said:

Getting back on this... The Raiders are the Raiders.... a poorly run organization. This Antonio Brown thing is the latest in an ongoing saga of WTF were you thinking decisions. 

That said, I do like the potential of this core group. Great character guys. Hoping the move to Vegas just gives them a clean slate and they can operate like a modern day organization without a constant finger poke in their unpatched eye. 

There was really no way they could have known that Brown was going to lose his ******* mind, though. I'm sure he just seemed like another WR diva when they made the move. 

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13 hours ago, big_palooka said:

That was a heck of a dissertation. Thanks for the insight. Right now, the Mitch being above average part seems to be the Achilles heal. One game in, but certainly starting to reach that "he ain't it" territory. Chicago needs him to be even average right now. If he fails, the QB market with no first round picks is a scary place. Hate to see yet another quality Bears defense hamstrung by a bad QB. This formula has to get old for you all.

I get your point but is wasn't just Mitch who was terrible. It was the entire offense. The play-caller(Nagy), the OL and the WR's all failed in this game. How is any QB supposed to work under those kind of conditions?

It's only one game against a division rival with a defense that was featuring so many different moving parts from last year that they hard to gauge against with no film on them.

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The beat reporters told us Trubisky was not good in camp.

I ignored it because I was desperate for him to be something.

Reality hit last night.

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17 hours ago, big_palooka said:

That was a heck of a dissertation. Thanks for the insight. Right now, the Mitch being above average part seems to be the Achilles heal. One game in, but certainly starting to reach that "he ain't it" territory. Chicago needs him to be even average right now. If he fails, the QB market with no first round picks is a scary place. Hate to see yet another quality Bears defense hamstrung by a bad QB. This formula has to get old for you all.

Yeah well amen to that.

I've already made my analysis so I'll just skip to the conclusion.  Mitch's problems are in his head and so far an apparent lack of ability to learn instinctively from experience as opposed having to be taught from the "book".  He's great as long as the book is handy which I see as Nagy's scripted plays and other more obvious reads.

It's when he has to go "off book" that he struggles and fails to improvise well other than to take off and run.  If Nagy and his staff can't "fix" that part of him then I'd tend to agree that the best he'll ever get is average and eventually he'll be someone else's backup on some other team.  QB without instincts are a dime a dozen.

What Pace and Nagy need to be evaluating in Mitch this year is can his lack of instincts be fixed because I don't know that it can.  I believe you either tend to have them and work off them constantly or you don't.  Like speed.  It's not possible to teach it.  Right now Mitch shows little in the way of an ability to learn and play instinctively.

Even an average QB needs decent instincts.  In fact with some it's most of what they seem to depend on.

You're correct about only needing an average QB to win it all.  Jim McMahon was an average passer but he had tremendous instincts for winning.  So far Trubisky lacks those.  If it can't be fixed and fixed quickly Pace needs to find an average vet with enough going on instinctively to run Nagy's offense well enough to win behind that defense.

IMHO Nagy won't much like that because it means his plans for his own "greatest show on grass" will be at least partially dashed.  But you can't scheme a "clever" offense for any QB not clever enough to operate it well and as we get more into Nagy's Playbook we're finding Mitch not quite clever enough to operate it.  That's not a good sign.

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4 hours ago, JustAnotherFan said:

I get your point but is wasn't just Mitch who was terrible. It was the entire offense. The play-caller(Nagy), the OL and the WR's all failed in this game. How is any QB supposed to work under those kind of conditions?

It's only one game against a division rival with a defense that was featuring so many different moving parts from last year that they hard to gauge against with no film on them.

Yeah but what they did was kinda old school.

They played in a nickel or dime all game long and dared Nagy to run against a front schemed specifically to choke up the lanes of his inside zone stuff.  They used three DL and a MLB to force runs outside using their DBs to clean up with gang tackles.  On passing downs they went dime and blanketed the short and intermediate zones from 10-20 yards where Mitch likes to throw.

I'll be happy to hand Nagy a lot of the needed criticism for playing right into Pettine's hands but a good QB could have altered his calls to compensate for all of that.  You can tell your WRs to adjust their routes giving you some open lanes.  And you can shoot quick passes to your backs and receivers under that coverage and chip away at it 5-7 yards at a time.  In other words adapt.  We didn't.

Nagy got out coached and Mitch can't improvise like he should be able to do by now.

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9 hours ago, WindyCity said:

The beat reporters told us Trubisky was not good in camp.

I ignored it because I was desperate for him to be something.

Reality hit last night.

Everything's OK, Tom Brady threw picks in camp too!

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9 hours ago, WindyCity said:

The beat reporters told us Trubisky was not good in camp.

I ignored it because I was desperate for him to be something.

Reality hit last night.

You have really hit rock bottom, huh? These takes were about right when the game ended, but we're still saying this stuff?

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