Where the Bears may have the advantage over the Bengals on Sunday is on Special Teams.
Though, according to Football Outsiders in 2012, the Bengals Special Teams unit was rated one spot lower than the Chicago Bears Special Teams unit last season.
The Bengals were rated as the NFL’s seventh best Special Teams unit last season while the Bears were rated as the sixth best in the NFL.
Football Outsiders puts a point total on field goals, extra points, kickoffs, kickoff returns, punts, and punt returns and then converts those points into a DVOA percentage.
In 2012, the Bengals’ had a DVOA percentage of 4.1%. In comparison, the Bears had a percentage of 4.7%.
The Bengals, however, did score higher in field goals and punt returns than the Bears in 2012.
Where the Bengals struggled on Special Teams is on kickoffs and kickoff returns.
That being said, Bengals’ kickoff returner Brandon Tate and punt returner Adam “Pacman” Jones present a daunting challenge for the Bears’ Special Teams unit. A challenge that Chicago Bears’ head coach Marc Trestman has prepared for.
“Our directional kicking and our ability to cover will be huge in this game,” Trestman asserted. “We’ve got to kick the ball away from these guys and close down the field and be able to put our cover team in position to make the tackle. If we go down the middle, it’s a very, very difficult job for any team to cover these guys.”-Marc Trestman, Chicago Tribune
Sunday will mark the first regular season game for the Bears since former special teams’ coordinator Dave Toub left the team for the Kansas City Chiefs in the off-season.