The Bears had the opportunity to watch most of the rest of the NFL while on their bye during Week 5. In the midst of that process, they maintained a stranglehold on advanced analytical numbers painting them as one of the best teams in professional football.
Despite the time off, the Bears are No. 2 overall in Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric for the second-straight week. Only the undefeated Rams at 5-0 paint the picture of a better team than the Bears, at least according to these numbers. Not to be outdone, the similarly undefeated Chiefs and red hot Saints trail just behind the Rams and Bears. As editor Aaron Schatz puts it, “there’s a healthy gap between those three teams and the rest of the league.”
When was the last time you could classify the Bears in that manner?
On a deeper level, for the third consecutive week the Bears have the No. 1 overall defense. I guess that’s what happens when you lead or are at the top of most relevant defensive statistics. Ho-hum. Somehow, even while not playing, Chicago actually rose up two slots to the No. 17 offense. Though that probably speaks more to terrible offenses bearing out in Week 5 giving the Bears a boost.
The Bears return to action this Sunday in Miami against the Dolphins with an opportunity to maintain that healthy numbers gap of elite teams and everyone else that doesn’t matter.
Robert is the Editor-in-chief of The Blitz Network (subscribe here!), the managing editor of Windy City Gridiron, and writes for a host of other fine publications. You can follow him on Twitter @RobertZeglinski.