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What Super Bowl Offensive Lines Say for Bears

By Gene Chamberlain,


Stability has been the main factor for the two offensive lines in the Super Bowl, and it's something the Bears lacked.

The Super Bowl teams are being hailed universally as the best teams in the conferences and unless you're from Cincinnati it's difficult to doubt this.

The Bears had nothing but praise for the NFC champion Eagles after they faced them and lost 25-20 in a game that wasn't as close as the final score indicated.

Injuries do make a difference every NFL season, especially when it comes to the offensive line where building communication and a cohesive front in blocking schemes is critical.

Longtime NFL journalist Howard Balzer pointed this out in a tweet on Tuesday about the Super Bowl combatants when he highlighted the number of starts missed by Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs on the offensive lines.

The Chiefs had two missed starts at left guard and the Eagles one missed start at left tackle and two at right tackle for the season. This included the playoff games. That's it.

So perhaps it's easy to see part of the reason the Bears led the NFL in sacks allowed with 58 and were last in passing.

The Bears had seven starting lineup changes at left guard, five starting lineup changes at right guard, two at center and one at right tackle. The only position on the line without change was rookie left tackle Braxton Jones starting every game and playing the most snaps of anyone on the team (1,034).

They switched starting lineups nine times due to the injuries, including once at right tackle due to personnel performance.

Larry Borom and Lucas Patrick wound up starting at three different positions and only because of injuries. Michael Schofield started at both guards.

There are other factors in the sacks allowed, like quarterback Justin Fields holding the ball too long. NFL NextGen Stats said he threw on average in 3.12 seconds, the most by any starter who had at least 10 starts. The only QBs tracked as getting it out slower were Zach Wilson (3.13), Sam Darnold (3.24) and Deshaun Watson (3.27).

The slowest last year was 3.12, just like Fields this year.

It was Jalen Hurts, so Fields would obviously do well to imitate the improvement Hurts had this year (2.76)

Combine this with a healthier line that has more talent added and it's easy to create optimism the offense can turn around in a season from one last in passing and first in rushing to one with a little more balance.

Of course, it helps to have a real defensive line like the Chiefs and Eagles both have and the Bears completely lack. But offensive line continuity can take the Bears a long way toward success on that side of the ball.

Twitter: BearDigest@BearsOnMaven

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