This is a post about the Chicago Bears, the Dallas Cowboys, and teams with extreme offensive and defensive splits in one season, and what happens the next year.
We don’t always agree around here, and that’s okay. Jason McIntyre is on record as being on the Chicago Bears under, and thinking the Dallas Cowboys are going to be one of the worst teams in the league, drafting 4th overall in the next draft.
My general thought on Dallas is this–they will have a pretty dang good offense and likely a bad defense–again. The offensive line is one of the best in football, then throw in Dez Bryant, Jason Witten, DeMarco Murray, and Terrance Williams. Romo has plenty to work with, and even if he misses games, Brandon Weeden is moving into a pretty good situation.
It is unlikely, historically, that a team like Dallas ends up with one of the worst records, unless a slew of injuries fell them. They could just as easily have a bounce-back season where the defense gets fortunate with turnovers and offsets what will likely be difficulty stopping teams otherwise. The over/under is in the 7.5 range, and that’s where I see them. 7 or 8 wins, lots of entertaining
page views games, with some heartbreaking blown leads and some comebacks. Basically, the recent versions of Dallas, and probably moreso.
Chicago, on the other hand, did upgrade the defense it would appear. It got old, the safety play was dreadful last year, and there is almost no place to go but up. It’s year two of the offense with Trestman, and the Marshall/Jeffery/Bennett/Forte combo may be the best in the league. If the defense rebounds with major turnover in personnel–and that has happened plenty of times with similar teams–then the over looks like the pretty good bet.
My main concern is that the NFC North, a year after having only one team finish (a half game) over .500, could be one of the tougher divisions, because Green Bay will be better with a full year of Rodgers, Minnesota and Detroit both have new coaches, and reasons for optimism.
But how have these type of teams done, historically? Very well. There’s a reason that the Bears over is favored by hard core types.
Here is a list of the 13 teams (before the Cowboys and Bears this year), who scored at least 3 more points per game than the league average, but also gave up at least 3 more points than the league average in a given year.
These extremely skewed offensive teams have increased in frequency in the last decade. All of them finished between 6 and 10 wins in the previous year. Only two (Carolina in 2000 and 2012) had losing records, at 7-9. The average win total the next year was 10.1, and 8 of the 13 make the playoffs. While that would be a surprise with the Cowboys given their defensive deficiencies, optimism in Chicago is at least based on how other teams like the Bears, who have turned over defensive personnel after missing the postseason with a good offense, have fared.