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Numbers game: How Bears fared in NFL rankings

Posted Jan 9, 2012

When it comes to the Bears’ 2011 season, the only numbers that really matter are 8-8. But aside from their won/loss record, it’s interesting to see how they stacked up both as a team and individually.

When it comes to the Bears’ 2011 season, the only numbers that really matter are 8-8. But aside from their won/loss record, it’s interesting to see how they stacked up both as a team and individually.

Offensively, the Bears ranked 24th in the NFL in total yards, ninth rushing and 26th passing. They were 21st in yards per play, 10th in rushing yards per attempt, 23rd in passing yards per play, 29th in interception percentage, 31st in sacks per pass attempt, 28th in first downs, 27th in third-down efficiency and 17th in points.


Matt Forte ranked 10th in the NFL in yards from scrimmage despite missing nearly five games.

Defensively, the Bears ranked 17th in total yards, fifth against the run and 28th versus the pass. They were 14th in yards per play, 10th in rushing yards per attempt, 13th in passing yards per play, 13th in interception percentage, 29th in sacks per pass attempt, tied for ninth in first downs, 10th in third-down efficiency and 14th in points allowed.

In the Aikman efficiency rankings, which factors in several key statistical categories and not just yards, the Bears defense ranked fourth behind only the 49ers, Ravens and Texans.

The Bears tied for 11th with a plus-two turnover ratio. Seven of the NFL’s top eight teams in turnover differential made the playoffs: the 49ers (plus-28), Packers (plus-24), Patriots (plus-17), Lions (plus-11), Falcons (plus-eight), Texans (plus-seven) and Giants (plus-seven). The only exception was the Seahawks (plus-eight).

In the red zone, the Bears offense ranked 12th (20 touchdowns on 38 trips for 52.6 percent) and the defense finished seventh (25 TDs on 56 trips for 44.6 percent).

On first down plays, the Bears offense was 27th (4.79 yards) and the defense was eighth (5.06 yards).

In average field position following kickoffs, the Bears return team was fifth at the 23.6-yard line and the coverage unit was 22nd at the 22.3.

Individually, Jay Cutler ranked 13th with an 85.7 passer rating. Nine of the top 10 quarterbacks led their teams into the playoffs. The only exception was the Cowboys’ Tony Romo, who ranked fourth with a 102.5 passer rating.

Cutler was 39th out of 42 qualifiers in fourth-quarter passing (60.5), throwing five of his seven interceptions in the final period, and 16th in third-down passing (80.2), throwing for three touchdowns with one interception.

Although he missed the final four-plus games with a knee injury, Matt Forte ranked 10th with 1,487 yards from scrimmage, 16th in rushing with 997 yards and tied for 20th with 59 first downs.

University of Phoenix

No Bears receivers ranked in the top 50 in receptions or yards or third-down catches.

Robbie Gould tied for 13th among kickers in scoring with 121 points and was sixth with 43 touchbacks on kickoffs.

Adam Podlesh was sixth in net punting average (40.6 yards) and 21st in gross punting average (43.9).

Devin Hester led the NFL in punt-return average (16.2 yards) and was 24th in kickoff return average (21.9).

D.J. Moore tied for 12th with four interceptions, while Julius Peppers tied for 11th with 11 sacks.

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