Hog Report: Bears' Disastrous O-Line Keeps a Title out of Chicago
This week was the week of the crippled quarterback. Left as target practice behind crippled or simply inferior groups of o-hogs, scores of quarterbacks have been laid to waste. It is hardly surprising that four of the worst six teams in offensive NPP% were missing their quarterback due to injury: Philadelphia, San Francisco, Arizona and Chicago.
One of those groups of o-hogs is just plain ready for the slaughterhouse.
Roasted Pork Butt: Cutler or Campbell, Chicago Quarterbacks Do Not Have a Prayer
There are bad offensive lines, terrible offensive lines and then Chicago’s offensive line. J'Marcus Webb surely would love to sustain his blocks long enough to avoid a Cutler-bump on the sidelines.
Roberto Garza might be on good enough terms to borrow Jay Cutler’s jersey, but he’s likely alone in that aspect. But it is hard to blame a late-round pick like Webb for having the lateral agility a slug.
Thanks to a couple first round draft picks who have not lived up to their potential in Gabe Carimi and the recently released Chris Williams, the Bears’ o-hogs have become stunningly terrible. It is no wonder Cutler is injured again, and the far-less-mobile Jason Campbell will not be able to function under the constant pressure.
Against the 49ers, Campbell took six sacks and threw two interceptions. He also only threw for 107 yards. While Aldon and Justin Smith were clinical for San Francisco, the 49ers have a great-but-not-elite 8.71, ranked 13th in the Defensive Hog Index. The Bears have the worst NPP% so far this season, 13.90, in the league and it is not even close.
Since 2006, there were only four games in which an offense had at least six sacks, two interceptions and threw for less than 115 yards. Two of those offenses were from the Windy City.
As far as an offense that had at least six sacks and two interceptions while throwing for at least a 60% completion with less than 25 pass attempts. That is a tricky combination. To throw less than 25 times and still rack up so many sacks requires an extraordinarily porous offensive line. But a quarterback that can throw at a 60% completion rate under those conditions is laudable.
Since 2006, teams with 6 sacks, 2 INTs, and less than 115 passing yards
At least 6 sacks, 2 INTs, and 60% completion with less than 25 pass attempts
The Bears were only the fifth team ever to rack up that tricky combination, and only the second since 1971. That 1997 Saints team did have Willie Roaf, but not much else and was a mess under Mike Ditka.
Prime Cut: Patriot’s O-Hogs are Historically Impenetrable
Even though the Hog Report has previously discussed how the New England group of o-hogs were performing better than their predecessors in the Belichick-era in Foxborough, the group has elevated to an all-time great streak.
Over the course of the past four games, the Pats’ o-hogs have only allowed two sacks and have forced no interceptions. That is leading to an iron-fisted grip on the top spot in the Offensive Hog Index. Their 0.93 NPP% over the past four contests is just eye-popping.
Patriots Offensive Line Dominance
Past 4 Weeks
Over the span of four games, only one other team has not allowed a sack and only thrown two interceptions.
The 2005 Denver Broncos.
They actually held the streak for five games. During the first four, they were only allowing 1.72 NPP%, which does not hold up to New England’s 0.93, but they were rushing for 6.02 YPA in a season that saw Mike Anderson gain 1,014 yards, Tatum Bell gain 921 and even Ron Dayne picked up 270 at 5.09 YPA.
Unsurprisingly, Houston head coach and zone-blocking maven Gary Kubiak was the offensive coordinator for that team. Anchoring that Denver line was Chris Meyers, who is now the center leading the way for the Texans’ ninth-ranked hogs.
Best Terrible Stat of the Week: What do Matt Ryan and Tony Romo Have in Common?
Against an Arizona team leading the league in defensive NPP%, Ryan did what other quarterbacks before him have done and crumbled before the d-hogs led by the mountainous Calais Campbell. Yet the Falcons still managed a victory. This is only the sixth time that has happened, and the last team to have done that was the 2007 Cowboys.
Which is a very Romo/Garrett way to win a football game.
Among the six teams, Romo’s Cowboys had the lowest NPP%, but the Falcons were second. Both of these are direct result of a high number of pass attempts, but both quarterbacks were running for their lives most of the game.
The Hog Report has preached Super Bowl champions often have a difference of at least 3.5 between their defensive and offensive NPP%.This threshold shows that your team is winning the battle of the line of scrimmage on both sides and allows a team to dictate its will.
Here is a look at where the most talked-about contenders sit at Week 12:
San Francisco should be interesting if Colin Kaepernick remains at quarterback. His quickness makes the job easier for his offensive lineman who will not see many blitzes in respect to Kaepernick’s arm and legs. Their 8 NPP% against the Bears, league leaders in defensive NPP%, was much better than their 12.12% on the season.
And, as evidenced by their fantastic NPP% differential, the Broncos continue to play like the toughest team in the league. It is interesting to see the Patriots at number two, on the strength of their offensive line, and the Hog Report would not mind seeing a rematch of Broncos vs. Patriots in the AFC Championship game.
Trench Warfare of Week 12: Another Round Packers and the Giants
In this game the Giants and Packers, the fourth- and fifth-ranked teams in defensive NPP% respectively, face off in a playoff rematch that saw New York pushing the Pack’s hogs all over the frozen tundra.
In this game, both teams have offensive lines in disarray. The Packers are struggling with injuries at the offensive tackle position, which the Giants’ offensive line is just plain bad. Even without Nick Perry and Clay Matthews the Packers were able to get to Matt Stafford five times, so that does not bode well for Eli Manning.
Overall, Cold, Hard Football Facts’ quality stats favor the Packers, as well. Maybe a bye week has Big Blue refreshed and revived, but the Packers are still formidable up front and are playing too well for a reeling Giants team to stop.
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