Packers-Bears By the Numbers: Will Chicago’s offseason gambles pay off?
|# 24 Oct, 2018 02:17|
Each week this season Color Rush Kenny Clark Jersey , we’ll dive into some advanced numbers and statistics to preview the Green Bay Packers’ upcoming opponent. First up, we have the Packers’ week one opponent: the Chicago Bears.Mack and Surplus ValueI spent most of the week in Detroit packing boxes and occasionally listening to meathead sports radio. I don’t listen to talk radio much but I like to shuffle through some variety when doing busy work, and every time I came back to a local sports talk station the host was talking about missing on Khalil Mack. Mack is a great pass rusher, and a very valuable player, but if any fanbase should understand the problem of overpaying a defensive player, and the idea of “surplus value,” it’s the Lions.In his prime, Ndamukong Suh was an outstanding defensive tackle, and surely one of the most valuable defensive players in the league. If Aaron Donald, the best current defensive player in football, reminds me of anyone, it’s vintage Suh. The problem with Suh was never how he played (penalties notwithstanding), it’s that the Lions drafted Suh (and Calvin Johnson and Matthew Stafford) before the advent of the rookie wage scale, which means they paid close to market value and never got any surplus value. In his second year in the league, Suh took up the second most salary cap of any Lion at 10%, just trailing Johnson’s 11%. As they never received any surplus value, they also never won anything.The Bears seems somewhat scary at the moment, and obviously it’s better to have Mack than to not have him, but it’s also important to keep in mind that as good as he is, he’s not better than Donald, and he will take up 7.5% of the Bears’ cap this season (highest on the team) and 11.42% next season (also highest on the team barring some big signing).That’s a LOT of money to pay a non-quarterback, because no other position is even close to as valuable as a quarterback. A good quarterback will always provide surplus value just because the salary cap makes paying them properly impossible. That is not the case with defensive ends. The Bears were able to do this, because, as most pundits will say, “Mitchell Trubisky is on a rookie contract and therefore they have extra money to spend.” And rookie contracts can be a huge benefit to a franchise, if the rookie is any good. But鈥rubiskyTrubisky isn’t paid much, but that’s the most positive thing you can say about him. Over the past decade, for rookie QBs who have had over 300 attempts, no quarterback threw fewer touchdown passes than Trubisky’s 7. Trubisky averaged 5.05 Adjusted Net Yards per Attempt last season, which is strictly middle of the pack over the past decade, and puts him just barely ahead of Mike Glennon’s rookie year. Most star quarterbacks are better than Trubisky as rookies. Russell Wilson, Dak Prescott, Matt Ryan, Cam Newton, Marcus Mariota and Andrew Luck all had 5.5 ANY/A or better as rookies, and true stars like Wilson and Ryan were above 7. Conversely http://www.authenticsgreenbaypackers.com/cheap-davante-adams-jersey , Trubisky is closer to the tier of Brandon Weeden, EJ Manuel, Geno Smith, and Mark Sanchez. It’s not impossible for quarterbacks to get better, and those looking for hope can point to Matthew Stafford, who is last on this list, and Carson Wentz, who is right next to Trubisky. However, Stafford was taking over the 0-16 Lions, one of the worst teams in NFL history, and Wentz plays for what appears to be an all-time great front office and coaching staff who beat Bill Belichick in a Super Bowl while starting Nick Foles.Overpaying Unproven ReceiversThe Bears did have a lack of offensive talent last season, but they went about fixing it with questionable players like Allen Robinson, who really only has one good season, is still recovering from a torn ACL, and is the second-highest-paid player on the team. The last time he played a full season was in 2016, and he ranked 74th in DVOA. The much maligned Kendall Wright, easily the best Bear receiver last season, ranked 58th.Tight EndsTaylor Gabriel is a fine slot receiver, and a genuine improvement, but will Trey Burton, stolen from the genius world champions, improve the tight end spot? Maybe. Burton was 3rd in DVOA last season, but I’d be a bit cautious just because Burton is no spring chicken, and the Eagles are great at making players look better than they are. The Bears actually got relatively good production out of their tight ends last season. Zach Miller was a respectable 18th in DVOA and rookie Adam Shaheen, who did not qualify for ranking due to lack of targets, was almost a carbon copy of Burton on a per play basis. Shaheen is injured and will miss a chunk of the season, but even if Burton can maintain his level of play, he will only be a small upgrade.SundayThe Bears have a good defense and should be better than they were last season, but the upgrade from a returning Aaron Rodgers towers over everything the Bears did. The coaching will likely be improved with Matt Nagy taking over for John Fox, but Trubisky looks more like a bust than a star at this point, and if he can’t be at least average it doesn’t matter how good the defense is. The Bears took a lot of big risks. If they don’t pay off, they’ll continue to be the punching bag of the North.Packers 2018 roster prediction: Cornerback room gets 6 players, including 2 new faces Welcome to the prediction section of the offseason. Over two weeks, Acme Packing Company will present our overall roster predictions for the Green Bay Packers’ season-opening 53-man roster. Today, we continue with the Packers’ cornerbacks.Last season, the Packers defense allowed a passer rating of 102 Color Rush Jamaal Williams Jersey , which was 31st overall in the entire league. It was heartbreaking to watch. The only team who ranked worse was Cleveland Browns, and that was by a very slim margin (102.2). The Packers were also sixth-worst in 20+ yards passes allowed (55), third in completion percentage allowed (67.8%), and third in yards per completion allowed (7.9).Now, those terrible, horrible, no good, very bad defensive passing stats aren’t solely the secondary’s fault. A lack of a consistent pass rush and a poor defensive scheme didn’t help. This is a new season with new potential for the Packers and their cornerbacks. Mike Pettine was brought in to coach up the defense, new rookie corners were drafted, and a familiar face was brought back to add a veteran presence. The APC staff made a prediction for six corners to make the final 53-man roster. We’re expected to see a lot of nickel formations so keeping a healthy number of corners on the roster is essential. Starters: Kevin King, Tramon Williams, Jaire AlexanderBefore injuries sidelined Kevin King, there were signs of him becoming a legitimate WR1 cover-man — most notably early last season when he matched up against Julio Jones and was trusted to defend A.J. Green. King is a 6’3,” athletic corner who’s not afraid to stick his nose in on run support. Despite being sidelined with a shoulder injury, hopefully he’s still absorbed enough to make a second-year leap.The aforementioned familiar face coming back to Green Bay is Tramon Williams. At age 35, Williams is coming back to Green Bay as a veteran presence after spending the past three seasons split between Cleveland and Arizona. During his eight years with the Pack, Williams collected 28 interceptions and was a vital cog to the pass defense that helped produce a Super Bowl. Pettine is already gushing about how valuable Williams is to the cornerback room:Rookie Jaire Alexander will be the third starting corner according to the APC staff predictions. Taking a position in the slot will be a good role for the young corner considering his size (5’10,” 196 lbs.) and his speed to keep up with shifty slot wide outs. While there were instances at Louisville where Alexander would get beat, a more disciplined approach will allow him to display his great ball skills more frequently. This will be a departure from last year’s combo of Damarious Randall (717 snaps), Davon House (659 snaps) and Josh Hawkins (403 snaps) getting the lion’s share of the cornerback snaps for the Packer D. Actually writing that out makes me feel like it can only get better.Reserves: Josh Jackson, Lenzy Pipkins, and Davon HouseJosh Jackson was the second rookie the Packers drafted following Alexander. In several mock drafts leading up to the draft, several had Jackson going in the first-round to the Packers at the 14th pick. Jackson has the size and nose for takeaways to develop into another boundary corner that could eventually take over for Williams. During his last season at Iowa, Jackson grabbed eight interceptions and displayed big play potential. Jackson didn’t run well at the Combine, but apparently showed 4.4 speed at the Hawkeyes’ Pro Day. It’ll be exciting to see if Jackson can move into the starting lineup if he starts the season as a reserve. Full disclosure, Lenzy Pipkins is an APC favorite. An undrafted free agent, Pipkins only started one game in Week 17, but his willingness to tackle during his limited playing time was endearing to fans who were looking for some life out of the injury-ravaged secondary. Pipkins can play inside and out, so that versatility should help his chances to make the final 53.Davon House is another corner who left northeast Wisconsin and eventually came back home. He spent 2015 and 2016 in Jacksonville before coming back to Green Bay last season on a one-year deal. The Packers decided to lock House back into another one-year deal this season prior to drafting two rookie corners. House was on the field for 12 games last season and managed to defend 6 passes during that time. Released: Herb Waters, Donatello Brown, Josh Hawkins, Demetri Goodson, Quentin RollinsRollins played 139 snaps last season and is the remaining corner from the 2015 draft that saw Randall and Rollins picked in back-to-back rounds by the Packers. Looks like the APC staff is projecting that that experiment is over. Waters has speed to develop into something and Hawkins put in a lot of snaps last season, but they’re predicted to be on the outside looking in. Having two rookies at this position pushes a lot of players off the 53-man roster, but the cornerback position was in dire need of a revamp. Taking two swings at getting a starting-level corner from this past draft and a full Kevin King season is an upgrade from last year. It’ll be exciting to see what an infusion of new blood can do to impact the whole defense.
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