The Duel

3 Stats That Prove the Bears Are Super Bowl Contenders in 2021

Zach Brunner
Khalil Mack's Bears finished the season with an 8-8 record, but they could bounce-back in 2021.
Khalil Mack's Bears finished the season with an 8-8 record, but they could bounce-back in 2021. / Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
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This past season resulted in the Chicago Bears taking a step back, finishing the year with an 8-8 record.

Missing the playoffs after such a heart-breaking exit the season prior is sure to leave a sour taste in Bears fans mouths during the offseason, but there were still some positive notes that the team can build upon for next season.

With that in mind, these are three stats from this past Bears season that shows they can be Super Bowl contenders in 2021.

1. Elite Scoring Defense

Kyle Fuller led Chicago with three interceptions.
Kyle Fuller led Chicago with three interceptions. / Dylan Buell/Getty Images

While the defense as a whole did not appear as dominant as the previous season, they were still elite in limiting opponents' points. They gave up just 18.6 points per game (PPG) this season, which was the fourth-best mark in the NFL. The defense also traveled well, giving up just 19.0 PPG in road games. Unsurprisingly, the advanced stats were also favorable to Chicago, as the Bears had the league's eighth-best defense, per Football Outsiders' DVOA metrics.

2. Strong Run Defense

Roquan Smith led Chicago with 101 total tackles.
Roquan Smith led Chicago with 101 total tackles. / Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Having a strong run defense is crucial to succeeding in the NFC North, as Chicago has to face players like Dalvin Cook, Aaron Jones and Kerryon Johnson. And even with those tough matchups, the Bears still surrendered just 3.9 yards per carry, which is tied for the fourth-best mark in the NFL. And with two of the league's best teams, the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens, boasting elite rushing attacks, fielding a stout run defense could be much more important going forward.

3. Tough on Third Downs

Khalil Mack led the team with 8.5 sacks.
Khalil Mack led the team with 8.5 sacks. / Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Great defenses know how to pull together and get off the field on third downs, and that's exactly what Chicago did. Opponents converted on just 36.4 percent of their third down attempts, which was tied for the ninth-best rate in the NFL. If the Bears can continue to excel at getting their opponent off the field, that should put Chicago's struggling offense in a much better position next season.


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