Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Football Outsiders hates on the Bears some more

Football Outsiders just ranked the Bears defensive line at ninth in the league, which makes me pissed off beyond any reasonable level. Of course it's not too surprising to see New England at the top of the list. They're total Patriots homers over at FO, and are at least generally willing to admit that it might affect their analysis of the Patriots, so I'm willing to allow that since the Pats d-line probably does belong in the top five you might as well put them at number one if you're a fan. But ranking the Vikings at sixth? The Vikings are supposed to have a better d-line than the Bears? That is just utter bullshit. They've got two linemen who are worth anything: the Williams fellows. And, sure, because of them, you can't really run up the middle against the Vikes. But Kevin Williams' major selling point is that he shares a last name with the All-Pro playing next to him. The Vikes' ends could be traded out with ends from half a dozen other teams around the league and no one would notice or care. So, if the Vikes are ranked sixth for being Pat Williams and a bunch of mediocre to better than average guys, why are the Bears, who have Tommie Harris playing the Pat Williams roles, not to mention Mark Anderson, Alex Brown, and Adewale Ogunleye rotating in and out on the ends, why are they ranked ninth? Well, according to Mr. Macey's explanation, it seems to be that the Bears have been ranked at the average of where they would be ranked with Tommie Harris and without Tommie Harris, since their line clearly declined with Tommie Harris sidelined during the second half of the season last year. Actually, I think ninth is more like where they should be ranked if you just figure that Harris isn't going to play this year, which would be stupid to figure, but how come the Bears' hypothetical ranking is suffering based on a hypothetical injury? Especially when, say, Carolina, who Macey ranks third and then goes on to describe every single member of their line as being surrounded by injury questions, is ranked where they'd be if their whole line suddenly got way better. So, Chicago's d-line loses rank because their best player was injured last year, but Carolina, whose entire line has problems staying healthy, is given the benefit of every doubt?

Man, I can't wait for football season.

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