4. The Chicago Bears' defense looks a lot better with Jack Sanborn than Tremaine Edmunds
The eye test has said that Jack Sanborn is better than Tremaine Edmunds so far this season. To be fair, it is a little more than two games, with Sanborn starting in the MIKE. Also, Sanborn played in this defense last year, where which is new to Edmunds. Also, the opponents and the added health of others on the defense have a say in the defense.
Still, Edmunds was paid to be a game changing free agent, and Sanborn is a low paid UDFA. The eye test should not be this close. The stats test says that Sanborn is better.
When Sanborn is on the field, the Bears have a success rate of 36.2% and an EPA allowed of -0.15. When Tremaine Edmunds is on the field, the Bears have an EPA allowed of 0.12 and a success rate of 44.9%.
When you take Edmunds off of the field, the Bears' success rate goes down 8.6%, and their EPA per play drops 0.03.
When you take Sanborn off of the field, the success rate goes up by 10.8%, and the EPA per play goes up by 0.29. The defense thrives when Sanborn is on the field and when Edmunds is off.
In the first six weeks of the season, the Bears had a success rate allowed of 44.2%. It was 47.9% allowed against the pass and 37.1% against the run. With Sanborn, it is down to 47.3% against the pass, 19.4% against the run, and 38.2% overall.
Overall, the Bears allowed 0.076 expected points per play in the first six weeks, and that is down to -0.0.56 over the last four.
It hurts to see, but it matches the tape. Sanborn has been better.