The Chicago Bears come into Thursday’s matchup with the Green Bay Packers averaging 375.2 yards per game – good for seventh best in the NFL. More astonishing, the Bears’ passing game is averaging 284.2 yards per game –fourth best in the league. The Packers, meanwhile, rank 25th in each category. That’s the kind of year it’s been for the Green Bay’s offensive production.
So why are the Bears sitting with a record of one win and five losses? Because they can move the ball, but they have trouble scoring. At 16.8 points per game, Chicago is next to last in the NFL, besting only the hapless New York Jets (the Packers rank 17th).
Looking further into this disparity between yardage and scoring, the Bears rank 22nd in third down conversions – not good, but better than the Packers’ 34 percent and 26th place ranking. On fourth down plays, the Bears have converted on all five of their attempts.
Turnovers do not account for the low scoring either, as the Bears have committed just seven – one more than they have caused.
Perhaps the best explanation for the Bears’ lack of scoring success lies in their poor performance when in the red zone – where the Bears score touchdowns 47.3 percent of the time. That ranks 25th in the league, while the Packers rank 20th.
In any event, Packers fans should not feel complacent due to the Bears’ low scoring numbers. With Brian Hoyer under center, the Bears have shown exceptional ability to move the ball and run up yardage.
And, the Packers won’t be able to rely on Jay Cutler lending them a helping hand on Thursday.