Lewis: Bears by the numbers

Lewis: Bears by the numbers
October 17, 2012, 11:25 pm
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Much was made of the Bears offseason change at offensive coordinator and the additions of Brandon Marshall and Michael Bush. They were key moves expected to help Jay Cutler advance the unit as a whole.
The Bears have played only five games but here is a look at how they ranked at the end of last year, with late season injuries to both Cutler and Matt Forte that derailed their season, and where they stand currently this season.
Last season the offense was 24th overall with 314.1 yards a game; this season they are 20th, averaging 346.2 yards per contest.
The passing offense in 2011 was 26th with a less than impressive 188.2 yards a game, a number that was affected by the loss of Cutler the last part of the year. In 2012, the Bears are throwing for 222.6 yards per game, 23rd in the NFL.
A misconception in the Mike Martz offense was that the team was not a good running team, but they ended his final season ninth in the NFL with 125.9 yards per game. In the new system, Matt Forte and company are 10th in the league with 123.6 yards per game.
During training camp the talk was about scoring points. Last season under Martz, the Bears averaged 22.1 points per game, which ranked 17th in the league. So far under Mike Tice, the group is second in the NFL in scoring with 29.8 points an outing. That also includes the five defensive touchdowns they have scored. Obviously defensive touchdowns count for every other team as well, but the offense itself is averaging 22.8 points per game.
What has been much better is the Bears third down offense. Last year they were 27th in the league,  converting on just 32 percent. In this new scheme, the offense is moving the third down chains at a 42.9 percent clip, 11th in the league.
Numbers can certainly be over-analyzed and can never really tell the whole story. The Bears have 11 games to play and it wouldn't be surprising if at least a few, if not all, of the above numbers don't improve.
The only thing that really matters is wins and losses.