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Gauging the Bears pass defense

If Rams WR Donnie Avery's on your fantasy roster, this might be a good week to get him active.Take a look at the Bears' pass defense numbers.

Pass YPG Comp/Att Pct Avg 20+
259.3 (30) 254/405 62.7% (12) 6.5 (22) 24

Getting yards through the air hasn't been a problem for opponents, but the Bears have done a good job limiting the damage from long throws. In fact, the longest pass completed against Chicago was 47 yards, a lower number than anyone else in the league. Long balls or not, teams have still found success moving the chains with shorter throws. Paging Randy McMichael... (I think his loss has effected the Rams much more than we realize, more on that another time.)

Earlier, I linked to a post at Windy City Gridiron that noted the Bears powerful run defense had been due in part to the team using 8 man fronts often, having moved away from that against the Packers to aid the secondary. Using 8 men in the box that much explains why shorter passes have been successful, as opponents just make easy quick throws to WRs or RBs over the defensive front. No need to throw long when you can move the chains that way.

Also reflecting this is the Bears DVOA defending against running backs on passing plays. They own a DVOA of 21.5%, 27th in the league. That might work well for Kenneth Darby who caught 8 passes for 83 yards against the 49ers last week. If the Rams can build on that, quick and short throws to Darby could be particularly effective against the Bears.

Now, about Avery. We haven't seen a completed pass of more than 30 yards since Derek Stanley's 80 yard TD against the Cardinals in week 9. The Bears will probably account for the deep threat from Avery or Stanley, but they could still catch plenty of passes on a shorter field. At any rate, it seems like a good week to use plenty of 3 and 4 receiver sets.