PFF surprisingly ranks Bears’ secondary in bottom half of the league’s units


PFF surprisingly ranks Bears’ secondary in bottom half of the league’s units originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

This offseason, PFF has unleashed its preseason rankings for a bevy of position groups. They recently did an overall ranking of each NFL team.

Now, they’re ranking secondary units across the league. Surprisingly, they slotted the Bears in an unfavorable position, placing them 19th in the NFL.

“The Bears signed cornerback Jaylon Johnson to a big contract extension this offseason after a career year,” PFF’s John Kosko wrote. “They also added safety Kevin Byard, who’s been one of the best safeties in the NFL since entering the league. Cornerbacks Kyler Gordon and Tyrique Stevenson had their ups and downs in 2023, as did safety Jaquan Brisker, but this unit could be extremely good in 2024 if it plays to its high-end abilities.”

I think most Bears fans would agree with this consensus for the Bears. It’s well-known that Jaylon Johnson proved himself as one of the league’s best, ranking first with the league’s best PFF coverage grade.

Kevin Byard is a strong upgrade from Eddie Jackson, whose play has declined since his All-Pro year in 2019. It’s true, that both Kyler Gordon and Tyrique Stevenson had their struggles during the 2023 season. But they’re both incredibly young.

For what it’s worth, last season the Bears allowed 237.8 passing yards per game (25th in the NFL), 6.6 passing yards per attempt (13th in the NFL), 1.8 passing touchdowns per game (29th in the NFL), and an opposing 88 passer rating (12th in the NFL).

Those statistics aren’t entirely to the fault or credit of the secondary. The Bears’ pass rush last season wasn’t spectacular. Even when Montz Sweat drastically improved the Bears ‘pass rush, they finished 31st in the NFL in sacks.

Hopefully, the Bears’ young secondary can prove their worth more than their 19th PFF ranking this upcoming season.

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