Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

25 Jul 2008

FO on ESPN: Bad News Bears Offense Has Little Hope

Here's a (somewhat table-free) look at similarity scores for the pathetic 2008 Chicago Bears offense. Yikes.

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 25 Jul 2008

20 comments, Last at 26 Jul 2008, 5:53pm by johonny


by MJK (not verified) :: Fri, 07/25/2008 - 1:44pm

So basically, for the Bears to have any hope, Grossman has to turn into Stan Humphries, Booker into Engram, Bradley into Driver, Lloyd into Green, and Devin Hester has to have bionic hands attached.

Or they could somehow acquire Brett Favre...

by JimR (not verified) :: Fri, 07/25/2008 - 2:23pm

I will hold out hope still since this is more of an OR than an AND logical situation. If Grossman or Orton develop nicely the Bears have a QB, if Booker, or Lloyd or Bradley or Hester develop into a no. 1 WR (given the quality TEs) the Bears receivers will be fine. One problem will be identifying any breakout guy since there are only limited reps in live pre-season games.

We Bears fans are hoping for an average offense to combine with a top defense and ST. ... Admittedly, it is *that* time of year.

by Jimmy (not verified) :: Fri, 07/25/2008 - 2:40pm

As a Bears fan it is just as well for me that I think similarity scores have questionable value when it comes to football. I prefer a more holistic analysis. Unfortunately things don't seem much better when you look at things like that.

I do appreciate how much coverage the Bears are getting at the moment. It would be nice if it wasn't mainly damning coverage (although Mike Tanier's piece about how we are about to become an offensive powerhouse was good, I did read that right didn't I?).

by brasilbear (not verified) :: Fri, 07/25/2008 - 2:40pm

I hereby ban myself from reading any more about the Bears, its too depressing.

IP: is banned.

by Dave (not verified) :: Fri, 07/25/2008 - 3:18pm

JimR, isn't that about the same as me arguing that if I ask five supermodels out, only one has to say yes and I'll be happy?

by Chris (not verified) :: Fri, 07/25/2008 - 3:34pm

What if a late first round pick with big college numbers that is physically unimpressive works out? Drew Brees anyone?

99% of the people out there wanted to give up on Brees before it all worked.

How about Eli Manning? People wanted him benched after the Viking game last year but Eli got the last laugh.

Now I am not saying Grossman will turn the corner because I don't think he will, but I think he deserves 1 more chance and that he MIGHT work out.

Mark Bradley has the best bet to be "something" on that list IMO. He is a good talent and should pick up some of the yards Mushin and Berrian left off. I think he will have a better year than Booker.

by Kenneth (not verified) :: Fri, 07/25/2008 - 3:43pm

Oh look, another article talking about how the Bears suck and are stupid and doomed and shouldn't even bother playing this year.

I dunno. I know what the stats and the scouting say and why they say it, but I'm getting really tired of hearing so many articles proclaim how bad the next season is going to be for Chicago. Certainly a great deal of homer-ism plays into this feeling. But after reading all winter how the White Sox were being foolish for even trying to compete this year, I'm inclined to wait for the season to begin and see what happens.

by Slypumpkin (not verified) :: Fri, 07/25/2008 - 3:48pm

"The odds of Kyle Orton developing into a quality NFL starter are roughly the same as the odds of Oakland winning Super Bowl XLIII."

Was this a deliberate attempt to get a little Raiderjoe back into the forums?

by Griffin Caprio (not verified) :: Fri, 07/25/2008 - 3:48pm

I love crap like this. Everyone always latches onto "qb is god" garbage. How quickly we forget that the greatest statistical offense in NFL history got destroyed in the super bowl b/c they couldn't protect the qb.

With protectection, at this level, almost any qb is serviceable. If you want to win, protect the line. Simple as that.

by Griffin Caprio (not verified) :: Fri, 07/25/2008 - 3:49pm

"With protection..." My mistake.

by JimR (not verified) :: Fri, 07/25/2008 - 4:02pm

3,4 ... you guys want depressed? Join Griffin (8) and dwell on the ugly which is an analysis of the Bears OL. Here they need things to go right in combination. Williams must be adequate at LT and they have to find a LG. If St. Clair is the RG (and he is the only guy on their roster I have much hope for) they are paper thin. One big injury and done! Dave, good point.

by JimR (not verified) :: Fri, 07/25/2008 - 4:36pm

should be LG not RG for St. Clair. Garza isn't going anywhere.

by johonny (not verified) :: Fri, 07/25/2008 - 5:36pm

I thought Eason's downturn in 1987 started with a shoulder injury. His 84-86 numbers are better than anything Grossman ever did. I fact the really bad thing Eason did (not avoiding getting hit) Grossman tends to do ok at (accept last season).

by Sergio (not verified) :: Fri, 07/25/2008 - 8:55pm


From what I recall of him in Miami, St. Clair was an average tackle. That actually bodes well for him as a G, since his problem wasn't really technique.

by usedbread (not verified) :: Sat, 07/26/2008 - 2:06am

#6 - Brees was a 2nd rounder

by Kenneth (not verified) :: Sat, 07/26/2008 - 4:26am

#15: But he was the first pick in the second round. For the purposes of judging the rank of where he was drafted, he was more or less indistinguishable from a late first rounder.

by Charlie (not verified) :: Sat, 07/26/2008 - 6:28am

Isn't it a bit early to use a phrase like "the pathetic 2008 Chicago Bears offense" when a) the 2008 season hasn't begun, and b) this isn't even a look at their offense, but at 3 starting positions on it?

I agree that things look pretty bad for the Bears offense this year - it's not like those other 8 starters are all settled and proven - but it's premature to write them off in July.

by BrixtonBear (not verified) :: Sat, 07/26/2008 - 12:04pm


Grossman's career prior to 2006:

2003: season ended with a broken finger in the last game
2004: season ended with a knee injury in game 3
2005: missed the first 13 games with a broken angle
2007: knocked out with a knee injury in his 5th start after returning from the bench

Doesn't look like he's done very well avoiding Eason's mistake to me. And given the state of the Bears' OL, I'm expecting his season to be over by the third quareter of the Colts game in week 1.

by TomC (not verified) :: Sat, 07/26/2008 - 1:06pm

I agree strongly with #17. The 2008 Bears offense is not pathetic. By almost any reasonable metric of prediction, it will be pathetic, but it isn't yet.

Think of it as a particle whose wavefunction hasn't collapsed yet and still has 0.1% of its probability density in the "mediocre offense" state.

by johonny (not verified) :: Sat, 07/26/2008 - 5:53pm

18- Eason took a sack 10.2 % of the time during his career compared to 5.9 % for Grossman.