Chicago Sun-Times

Bears last in new New York Life Protection Index

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The Bears have the league's worst pass protection, according to the New York Life Protection Index.

Created by Northbrook-based STATS, the index measures a team's aptitude in pass protection using a formula that includes the length of a team's pass attempts combined with penalties by offensive linemen, sacks allowed and quarterback hurries and knockdowns.

The top five teams in the New York Life Protection Index are either in first or second place in their respective divisions.

The Colts are No. 1 with an index rating of 90.6 out of 100. The Bears, meanwhile, are last at 29.6.

The best performance in a game was by the Colts against the Dallas Cowboys Dec. 5.

The worst performance? You guessed it. The Oct. 3 Bears loss to the New York Giants. The Bears scored -54.5, surrendering 10 sacks.

"New York Life is pleased to partner with STATS to create this innovative index that demonstrates the importance of being protected on the football field and bring more attention to the often unsung heroes that battle in the trenches - the offensive line," said Mark W. Pfaff, executive vice president, New York Life. "Just as an offensive line is designed to protect its quarterback's blind side, New York Life offers life insurance products that protect individuals, families and businesses from unforeseen circumstances."

In the last four years, teams that finished in the top 12 in the New York Life Protection Index have made the playoffs 63 percent of the time (30/ 48), averaging 10.3 wins.

In the same time span, teams with an above average protection index (54 -60, depending on the year) have made the playoffs 55 percent of the time (35/ 64), while teams with a below average protection index have made the playoffs just 20 percent of the time (13/ 64).

And of the eight teams who have made the Super Bowl in the last four years, only one team (the 2008 Pittsburgh Steelers) has finished outside of the top 12, and both of last year's teams (Colts and New Orleans Saints) finished in the top 3.

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This probably surprizes no one. The surprize is that Cutler is the only starting Quarterback still standing.

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Jensen published on December 14, 2010 12:11 PM.

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