I know the game is ancient history, but I thought it’d be interesting to check the box score for some key numbers from last Sunday’s game.
The number of tackles Budda Baker has. Sometimes when you see a high number of tackles that doesn’t mean the player was impactful. In this case, it was exactly that. Baker was flying all over the field making plays. Baker was great against the run. He also made plays against the pass. It was a great showing for Baker.
The number of times the Bears hit a Cardinals quarterback. I know Chicago has Khalil Mack. I know the pass protection hasn’t been great. Nine is entirely too high and it’s awfully tough to be successful on offense when your quarterback is picking himself up off the ground nearly every other time he drops back to throw.
The number of drives before the final drive that didn’t end in a score for the Cardinals. The Bears had the ball for 13 more minutes than the Cardinals. Inefficiency and lack of creativity is killing the offense. Mike McCoy let David Johnson run a route past five yards and what do ya know, touchdown. More of that, less of taking out your best player on the biggest third down of the game.
The number of catches Christian Kirk had. On eight targets. Usually Kirk is a screen heavy guy. Last game was good usage for Kirk. It was different. He ran a nice double move that went for over 30 yards. There was a nice play-action design where he was just matched up with a linebacker and outran him to the other side of the field. It was good to see his role progress and hopefully it doesn’t get stagnant.
The number of penalties the Cardinals had. That might sound like a lot to some but it’s not. Like, at all. The average is over seven, and the league low is four. One area the team didn’t shoot themselves in the foot was excessive penalties.
The number of pass breakups the Bears had. With Josh Rosen playing, something I’ll be keeping an eye on is how many chances Rosen is take. Is he putting the ball in harms way? We don’t want him to go Alex Smith. But he can’t go Deshaun Watson, either. Let’s see if he can find the happy medium.
The number of turnovers the Cardinals had. Three interceptions and a fumble that was lost. Luckily, three of those turnovers won’t see the field Sunday. Still, if the rookie signal-caller protects the ball Arizona has a good shot at winning.
The number of sacks the Cardinals had. I think for the first time we saw this defense come close to what was expected in preseason. Getting after Trubisky behind the line of scrimmage and making plays on his passes. We all know Russell Wilson will give his receivers a shot, the Cardinals will have a chance to make a play. Robert Nkemdiche played one of his better games as a pro. He and Chandler Jones should be able to build on the sack number from last Sunday.
The yards per carry David Johnson averaged. 2.6. There hasn’t been a game yet where Johnson has cracked 50 yards. Something has to give, right? Right? The Seahawks difference has struggled to stop the run so far. The Bears are the fourth best. I’d spread Seattle out, and give Johnson all the touches.
I’ll skip one, and go to zero. But I’ll give you two. That is the number of targets Larry Fitzgeral had on third down. That can’t happen. Especially when you are converting 30% of your third downs. 3-10 and none of them were plays for your best receiver. That can’t happen.
Zero is also the number of red zone drives Arizona had. They’re making life so tough on themselves by not sustaining drives. They’re not the explosive play type team. Mike McCoy is going to have to figure out what works and the players are going to have to execute.