Bears’ turnaround aided by much better luck with injuries

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What was the biggest factor in the Bears’ turnaround in 2018? Trading for All-Pro pass rusher Khalil Mack? Hiring Coach of the Year Matt Nagy? The development of their young starting quarterback, Mitchell Trubisky?

Or was it just the dumb luck of not suffering many significant injuries?

FootballOutsiders.com uses an advanced metric called “adjusted games lost” to show which teams were hurt the most by injuries. The metric incorporates not only how many games were missed by players on any team, but also whether those games were missed by starters or backups, and also which teams had a lot of players who were at less than 100 percent because they missed practice during the week with injuries. It’s probably the single best metric to answer the question, “How healthy was this team?”

And the answer is, the Bears were very healthy in 2018. After being very unhealthy in 2017.

Chicago ranked as the third-healthiest team in the NFL in 2018, after ranking 31st in 2017. No team in the NFL improved more on the injury front than the Bears last season.

Unfortunately for the Bears, staying healthy is mostly a matter of getting lucky, and teams that have a sudden improvement in their health often regress toward the mean the following season. The Bears may have to count on their roster depth more this season than they did last season.

15 responses to “Bears’ turnaround aided by much better luck with injuries

  1. Having quality depth means more now than ever in the NFL. The Bears were able to draft for want rather than need this year and are poised to make a good 3-4 year run.

  2. Interesting. Ive been told for the last 2 years the reason why the Packers have been so bad is because they’ve suffered more injuries than any other team. I guess this puts that excuse to rest.

  3. Those “adjusted games lost” stats are completely bogus, because they only look at weekly injury designations and therefore completely ignore any critical starters who were placed on IR and would no longer show up on injury reports.

    For instance, Marshawn Lynch going down in the first few games of the season changes things a bit, right? Or Jimmy Garoppolo.

    Yeah, bogus.

  4. Players “get injured” when theyre playing for Fox and Loggains, i.e. a deadend! Injuries do happen, but players exaggerate them and extend them when theyre on a pisspoor team headed nowhere! With all the excitement and potential Nagy brings, what player is not excited to play or compete to get on the field?

  5. The Bears won’t sneak up on anyone this year. Getting rid of Jordan Howard was a huge mistake & will come back to bite them.

  6. The Bears also had a very large number of forced turnovers, which is obviously due in part to having a great defense but there’s also a lot of luck involved there. So the Bears can look forward to more injuries and fewer turnovers forced this year. That might have an effect on the old win-loss record.

  7. Bears were lucky last year until double doink. Their luck has run out and it will take them to the basement of the NFCN.

  8. kingwalleye says:
    May 15, 2019 at 10:28 am
    Having quality depth means more now than ever in the NFL. The Bears were able to draft for want rather than need this year and are poised to make a good 3-4 year run.

    *****************************************
    You’re joking, right. The Bears signed 30 UDFA’s because they are all in for this year and have just about 0 depth. That’s why they are signing all of these scrubs to find depth off the street. That’s what happens when you give away your draft picks

  9. trubiskyisworsethanCutlerandwillalwaysbeinjured says:
    May 15, 2019 at 11:47 am
    kingwalleye says:
    May 15, 2019 at 10:28 am
    Having quality depth means more now than ever in the NFL. The Bears were able to draft for want rather than need this year and are poised to make a good 3-4 year run.
    *****************************************
    You’re joking, right. The Bears signed 30 UDFA’s because they are all in for this year and have just about 0 depth. That’s why they are signing all of these scrubs to find depth off the street. That’s what happens when you give away your draft picks
    ==================================================================================
    The number is actually 22, and if (and that’s a big “if”) you’ve been following football at all recently, you’ll note that nearly all teams are bringing large amount of UDFA’s in for looks- and over the past several years, teams have found some really good players, not just starters but even stars like Adam Thielen. In fact, Damon Harrison of the Lions, who has made All-Pro, is a UDFA. Teams are hardly bringing them in for depth only, and a guy who is picked in the draft, especially in the lower rounds, is hardly guaranteed to be better than a UFDA. And your Lions would be smart to grab some of these guys, because their drafting typically stinks.

  10. The Bears were legitimately good last year and will be legitimately good this year, although I think the NFCN will be a tighter race in 2019.

  11. It’s worth mentioning that they were at our near the bottom of the league health-wise from 2014-2017, until last season, when they built a new training facility, fired their training squad and brought in a new one. They also have a younger roster than they have in a long time.

    It’s not all “luck”. It’s a combination of better conditioning, better training staff, better facilities, and less worn down players.

  12. Call up all the crunched numbers one can create…bottom line is that the Bears are a good team and are the defending division champs.

    Injuries are an important equalizer to be sure but let’s not take anything from who the team is.

    Just want to add that I’m a Packers fan who doesn’t much like the Bears.

  13. Bears are good.
    Better than Packers and Lions for sure.
    I didn’t know that information on health and they git a good break last year.
    2 things stick out…..Fangio gone and last year they led the NFL in takeaways.
    Fangio hurts because Pagano is good but not great and you can’t have that level of turnovers afain fall in your lap.
    Add in that Trubisky is just ok and the WR crew is average at best. I doubt they win the division.

  14. The Bears are going to sweep my p@thetic Lions again this year and losing Jordan will have absolutely zero effect on the team. Also I’m really not looking forward to Trubisky picking apart my defense with all these new young receivers. It’s going to be another long season in Detroit, Patricia is just added fuel to our dumpster fire squad. Bears will be the team to beat in the NFCN for many years while we stay in the basement rotting for our sixth consecutive decade.

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