This stat is encouraging for Chicago Bears defense moving forward

Chicago Bears (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

The Chicago Bears defense has been up and down with first-year coordinator Sean Desai. We have certainly noticed differences between his unit and the Chuck Pagano group. The Bears defense is not entirely playing at an elite level, but it is fair to assume that they may be ready to improve in the coming weeks.

One area the Bears defense has shown to be better than most is limiting explosive passes. On the surface, the team ranks 17th in explosive passes allowed. That is not good. However, there is a legitimate reason to believe that this number will improve over the next couple of weeks.

To start, the team has not faced a bevy of elite offenses, but they have met some of the most explosive. Five of their six opponents rank in the top 12 in explosive play rate. You guessed it, the Lions do not, but every other offense they have faced has exploded downfield.

This is where the optimism comes in. While the Bears have given up big passes to the number 1, 2, 8, 9, and 12th ranked explosive pass teams in the NFL, all five have been below their average number of explosive passes against the Bears.

The Raiders currently lead the league in explosive passes with their downfield attack led by Henry Ruggs. However, they have a 13% explosive pass rate that fell to 6% when they played Chicago. The Rams rank second in explosive passes but were down from 13% to 11% when they faced Chicago.

The Bengals ranked eighth and the Packers ninth, both at 11%. The Bears allowed 6% to the Bengals and 8% to the Packers. Lastly, the Browns 12th ranked explosive attack was down from 10% to 9% against Chicago.

So, of course, the team is allowing a few big plays to the best in the NFL. However, it is fair to say that they should be much lower, especially if they had just given up the average number of explosive passes that these offenses gain.

It does not help that the Bucs rank 7th in explosive pass rate, and it gives them six of seven high-powered offenses to start their year. Still, they have kept the first five under their average, and if they do so against Tampa Bay, it will speak to their ability to halt the deep ball.

Next. Why Bears offense will open up vs Bucs. dark

If the Bears can survive the Bucs, they should be in for a soft spot in their schedule where San Fran and Pittsburgh are 29th and 31st in that category. The Bears defense has been growing and hit a few ups and downs, but there is a real chance they finish much better than they started.