After allowing 393 yards against the Detroit Lions on Sunday, the Bears dropped to 25th in the NFL in total defense (376 yards allowed per game). But by outscoring the Lions' offense 14-13 on interception-return touchdowns by Major Wright and Charles Tillman, they have moved up to sixth in net points allowed (15.8).
Excluding touchdowns allowed by the offense on an interception return (the Falcons' Kory Biermann), a fumble return (the Eagles' Brian Rolle) and a safety against the Buccaneers, the Bears' defense has allowed 172 points this season. But they've also scored 30 points with three interception returns for a touchdown (D.J. Moore, Major Wright and Charles Tillman), one fumble return for a touchdown (Brian Urlacher) and a safety (Stephen Paea). That gives them a net of 142 points allowed, 15.8 points per game.
And furthermore, it's worth noting that the Bears have played four of their nine games against teams that rank in the top four in the NFL in scoring -- the Packers (first, 35.6), Saints (second, 31.3) and Lions (fourth, 28.0) twice.
The Bears, in fact, have played six games against teams in the top half of the league in scoring and have held all six below their average. In all, the Bears have played teams that are scoring a combined 230 points a game this season, and have held those teams to 187.
That's statistically significant, but whether it has actual merit on the playing field is up for debate. If it does, it bodes well for the Bears, because four of their next five opponents currently are in the bottom half of the league in scoring: the Raiders (17th, 23.1), Chiefs (27th, 15.7), Broncos (20th, 20.9) and Seahawks (26th, 16.0). This week's opponent, the Chargers, are 13th in scoring (24.0 points per game).
Here are the top 10 teams in net points allowed after Week 10 (defensive points in parentheses):
Well if scoring stats mean anything defensively we've done much better than it would appear. The bend but don't break system is giving up yardage as usual but it's relatively meaningless yardage when it comes to opponent scores.
Considering the points the Bears defense has scored off opponents turnovers (4 tds) and safety by Stephen Paea the Bears rank 6th in net points allowed. If course most of that gain in status has come during the last three games but it's a sure sign we're playing Bears type takeaway football again.
Also interesting is that having played 6 top scoring teams in 9 games we're holding those teams to less than their average point out put and we have 5 games coming with teams who rank aywhere from 13th to 27th in points. If our defense continues to play like thay have this is a stretch where we can really gain some ground and cement ourselves a playoff berth.
That's kind of a nice stretch of games to have in front of us after such a rugged start.
I'm getting to that age where a lifetime warranty just doesn't mean as much to me anymore as an afternoon nap.
Honey Badger Don't Care. Honey Badger Don't Give a Shit.