Why Bears went D-line, not O-line in draft

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Why Bears went D-line, not O-line in draft

The Bears had a chance to draft a top-shelf offensive lineman at No. 19 last draft. Iowa tackle Riley Reiff was available; the Lions took him four picks later at 23.

Stanford guard David DeCastro was there; Pittsburgh grabbed him at 24.

But the Bears chose Shea McClellin out of Boise State (to be a pass rusher, not a linebacker) and their reasoning has always been pretty clear.

Defensively the Bears were 29th in sacks per pass play.

Daniel Jeremiah over at NFL.com looks at the last five Super Bowl winners and notes that four of the five (all by New Orleans) were in the top three for total sacks.

(To put that in just a little perspective, however: The New York Giants were third in sacks and won the Super Bowl. The Philadelphia Eagles and Minnesota Vikings were 1-2 in sacks per pass play and were done after 16 games and the Eagles led the NFL in total sacks.)

The Bears were 16th in sacks per pass play in the 2006 Super Bowl season, which says that total dominance isnt necessarily the order. But they also had 11 forced fumbles by defensive linemen alone.

Last year they had 13 total, four by linemen. Sacks and pass rush produce strips. That was why the biggest need the Bears had last draft day wasnt protecting the quarterback. It was getting to others.

Road Ahead: Blackhawks play three home games before All-Star break

Road Ahead: Blackhawks play three home games before All-Star break

CSN's Pat Boyle and Steve Konroyd preview the Blackhawks' three upcoming games in the Road Ahead, presented by Chicagoland & NW Indiana Honda Dealers.

The Blackhawks have three home games before the NHL All-Star break, which takes place in Los Angeles.

The Blackhawks have dates between the Vancouver Canucks, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Winnipeg Jets. All three opponents are out of the playoff picture, sand Steve Konroyd is looking for the Blackhawks to step up in a certain part of their game: scoring.

See what Boyle and Konroyd had to say in the video above.

Bears numbers don't indicate 3-13, yet still lie

Bears numbers don't indicate 3-13, yet still lie

In doing some post-season wrapping up of my Nerdy NFL Notebook as we begin turning the page to the 2017 season, part of it involves compiling where each team finished in big-picture team offensive and defensive categories: overall ranking (total yards), as well as team rushing and passing ranks on both sides of the ball.

So if the Bears wound up ranked 15th overall in total yards gained and allowed, they should've finished…oh, 8-8, right? It adds to the deception of some of the deeper issues that focus on a lack of playmakers, which tied into their inability to make plays when it matters most. In John Fox's 9-23 start, 18 of those games have been decided by six points or less. They've won just six of those games. 

Offensively, the Bears ranked higher in total offense than five playoff teams: Kansas City (20), Detroit (21), Miami (24), New York Giants (25) and Houston (29). They wound up 17th in rushing offense, better than four teams who advanced: Seattle (25), Green Bay (26), New York Giants (29) and Detroit (30). And their 14th-ranked passing offense ranked better than the Giants (17), Kansas City (19), Dallas (23), Miami (26), Houston (29).

On the other side of the ball, they'd be even better off before allowing 109 points over the final three losses. Their total defense ranked better than Detroit (18), Green Bay (22), Kansas City (24), Atlanta (25), Oakland (26) and Miami (29). After being gashed for 558 rushing yards the last three games, they fell to 27th in the NFL against the run (better than only 30th-ranked Miami). But the seventh-ranked pass defense, despite collecting a measly eight interceptions (among only 11 turnovers), was better than nine playoff teams: Miami (15), Pittsburgh (16), Kansas City (18), Detroit (19), the Giants (23), Oakland (24), Dallas (26), Atlanta (28) and Green Bay (31).

[SHOP: Gear up Bears fans!]

What do all the hollow numbers indicate? A lack of complementary, opportunistic football, playmakers on both sides of the ball, a minus-20 turnover ratio, and a lack of quality and continuity at the quarterback position — to name a few. All of those playoff teams have more impact players (or kept more of their impact players healthy) than the Bears in 2016.

While some of the numbers aren't that bad to look at, and some even raise an eyebrow, there's still a deep climb from the most significant numbers: 3-13.