Chicago Bears: 3 Statistics that must improve to make playoffs in 2020

Chicago Bears (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Bears, Khalil Mack
Chicago Bears. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

Stat 3: The Chicago Bears blitzed just 24.1 percent of the time, the No. 26 rank in the NFL

Credit to Sheil Kapadia of The Athletic and his guide for this statistic. For a team with the number of elite pass rushers that Chicago has, this number absolutely has to be higher in 2020.

There’s sort of a trickle-down effect as to what would change if the Bears are able to blitz with more regularity. For starters, it would mean that they trusted the secondary more; the reason they have to keep players in coverage is that they aren’t as confident in the secondary beyond the likes of Eddie Jackson and Kyle Fuller.

From a personal standpoint, if there’s one thing to keep eyes on during the 2020-21 season, it’s how the Bears manage to deal with one-on-one matchups on the defensive line. If 2020 proved anything, it’s that it took more than one man to block Khalil Mack. And, across the country, the same dynamic was going on with Robert Quinn.

Throw Akiem Hicks, Roquan Smith, Danny Trevathan Eddie Goldman and players like Bilal Nichols, Roy Robertson-Harris and late-season addition Brent Urban into the group, and you’ve got an intriguing group worth sending to opposing quarterbacks.

This isn’t something necessarily new. In 2018, Chicago ran four-man blitzes at the No. 16 highest rate, yet still pressured QBs more than all but two teams.

2020 could be the year things come together. It doesn’t seem as though running zone and bringing linebackers back in coverage was the plan heading into this year if Brad Biggs’ column in 2019 was any indication. Under anonymity, sources around the league offered this assessment.

"“Chuck is much more aggressive calling blitz pressures than Vic. Vic can be very vanilla and bland with it at times. Khalil will be going forward a lot more this year than he has in years past. Chuck is going to play much more man coverage than Vic played.”"

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Everything about what we’ve heard from Khalil Mack’s offseason suggests he’s coming with a vengeance. If Mack and Quinn continue their trend of attracting doubles, and Hicks — arguably the most important piece on the team — remains healthy, it’s hard not to reason with the idea of the Bears taking advantage of that, and flexing their muscles with a top-3 defense.