With the 49ers in Chicago to take on the Bears this week, I’m going to give a quick rundown of some numbers/statistics from the Bears season thus far that are favorable to the 49ers on paper.
1. 1788 yards
That is how many yards the Bears offense has recorded thus far this season, which ranks dead last in the NFL. The Bears offense is also 30th in points scored and 32nd in passing offense. However, aside from a handful of costly defensive pass interference penalties, the 49ers' defense has been quite good this year, and this week's matchup certainly appears to be one they should have the upper hand in.
This is the Bears turnover percentage this season, meaning 14.3 percent of their drives end with a turnover, which is the 8th highest in the entire league. It’s no secret the 49ers defense has struggled to create turnovers over the last few seasons (they’re ranked 30th in the NFL this season in turnovers forced), so a Bears defense that is prone to hand the ball over might be just what the 49ers defense needs to start trending the turnover differential back in the right direction
This is the number of net yards the Bears average per pass attempt, which is by far the lowest in the NFL, and a full yard less than the next lowest team (The New York Jets) have averaged. The Bears' passing offense has struggled to find any kind of rhythm. Between the lack of creative approach with schematics and issues with the offensive line, the passing offense as a whole has been whatever the polar opposite of the word “consistent” would be.
This is the rate the Bears are converting third downs on offense this season, which ranks 32nd in the entire NFL. —> I wrote something earlier this week <—- about how 3rd down has been the demise of the 49ers season to this point, but luckily for them, the Bears are one of two teams (Jacksonville being the other) who have been worse on the ever crucial down to this point in the season. If the 49ers can regularly win on first and second down, the Bears will likely have an extremely tough time regularly moving the chains in high leverage spots on third down.
Now, this is the most simple and straightforward number of them all. 7 is the number of games that starting quarterback Justin Fields has appeared in at the NFL level. While I don’t think the situation around him has been anywhere near conducive to the success of a young signal-caller, I also have seen plenty of evidence on tape that suggests that Fields has a long way to go to get acclimated to the NFL level.
Fields has plus accuracy and the arm to beat the 49ers defense down the field while also being a threat with his legs. However, he is also a rookie making what will be only the 6th start of his NFL career, which is something the 49ers defense should be able to take advantage of over the course of this game.
The bottom line is despite nothing being guaranteed and anything being able to unfold on a given Sunday, the 49ers' defense should be able to not only outplay but dominate this Bears offense that is in the bottom third of the league in so many crucial offensive metrics.