Are the Chicago Bears suddenly one of the NFC’s better teams? 12 eye-catching numbers for their Week 15 game.

Dreams are rising in Chicago. Playoff chatter is amplifying. With a current stretch of high quality play and wins over the Carolina Panthers, Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions over the past 4 video games, the Bears are permitting themselves to think about a storybook ending to their once-dispiriting season. Players and coaches know a microfocus will probably be wanted, particularly towards Sunday’s recreation towards the Browns, to maintain such desires alive. But hey, life has begun to really feel extra enjoyable once more at Halas Hall and round Chicago.

As we head for Week 15, right here’s a snapshot have a look at 12 notable info and figures.


Rank of the Bears protection, which has allowed 314.5 yards per recreation this season. That’s a significant enchancment from a yr in the past, when the Bears ranked twenty ninth in whole protection (375.9 ypg). Over the final 5 video games, the Bears have climbed from twenty third to twelfth in whole protection and thirteenth to second in interceptions. They additionally personal the No. 2 dashing protection, permitting 83.7 yards per recreation.


NFL rank of the Browns passing protection, which is permitting a median of 159.7 yards per recreation. The Browns have been significantly stingy at house, permitting 105.1 passing yards and 12.6 factors per recreation. They lead the league in whole protection (263 ypg) and third-down effectivity (29.0%). The Browns additionally rank fourth in interception charge (3.2%)and tenth in sacks (38).


Net passing yards by Bears quarterback Justin Fields in his first NFL begin, a Week 3 recreation in 2021 at Cleveland Browns Stadium. Fields was battered all afternoon in that contest. The Browns recorded 9 sacks for 67 yards and hit the Bears rookie 15 instances. Fields accomplished six of his 20 passes for 68 yards. The Bears squeezed a area purpose out of their opening drive in that 26-6 loss. But over their closing 10 possessions, they mustered solely 23 yards of offense and 5 first downs.


Passing touchdowns from Fields throughout his final go to to Cleveland. Sure, that was within the 2022 preseason finale. But it was additionally an opportunity for Fields to conquer among the demons from that first begin towards the Browns as a rookie. In that preseason Bears victory, Fields accomplished 14 of 16 passes for 156 yards and threw touchdowns to Ryan Griffin, Dante Pettis and Cole Kmet because the Bears rolled up 198 whole yards and 21 factors earlier than halftime.


Consecutive cross makes an attempt with out an interception by Fields, the longest streak of his profession. Fields’ final choose got here within the second quarter of a Week 6 loss to the Vikings, a cross that was redirected excessive into the air when Danielle Hunter hit the Bears quarterback after a safety miscommunication. In three begins since coming back from a dislocated proper thumb, Fields is 62-for-93 passing for 609 yards with two landing passes and a 92.1 ranking. (For what it’s value, the Bears report for consecutive passes with out an interception is 205, set by Kyle Orton in 2008.)


Starting quarterbacks utilized by the Browns, who’re on to 38-year-old veteran Joe Flacco. Flacco signed to the workforce’s observe squad Nov. 20 and has made two begins, together with Sunday’s 31-27 defeat of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Flacco was 26-for-45 for 311 yards and had landing tosses of 34 and 30 yards to tight finish David Njoku plus a 41-yard scoring strike to David Bell. The Browns had been 5-1 in video games began by Deshaun Watson this season, went 1-1 with short-time former Bear P.J. Walker beginning and 1-2 behind rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson. The Browns are one among simply seven groups within the Super Bowl period to win no less than one recreation with 4 beginning quarterbacks, a fraternity that features the 2015 Houston Texans, 2007 Panthers, 1998 Saints and the 1987, ‘88 and ‘89 Patriots.


Interceptions by cornerback Jaylon Johnson this season, all coming over the past seven video games. Not solely is {that a} profession excessive, Johnson had just one interception within the 37 video games he performed over his first three seasons and was with no choose within the first 4 video games he performed this yr. With his rookie contract because of expire in March, Johnson might be positioning himself for a top-of-the-market reward along with his ball manufacturing. He is tied for fourth within the NFL in interceptions behind solely DaRon Bland (eight), Geno Stone (six) and Jessie Bates (5). As a workforce, the Bears have 9 interceptions over the past three video games.


Quarterback pressures, in keeping with Pro Football Reference, recorded by Montez Sweat within the 5 video games he has performed since becoming a member of the Bears. Pressures, as outlined by PFR, are performs on which a participant data a sack, a rush or a quarterback knockdown. Sweat has 3 1/2 sacks with the Bears. And since his arrival, the protection’s sack whole has ballooned from 10 within the first eight video games to 21 after 13 video games.


Browns gamers on injured reserve, together with six Week 1 starters. Starting proper deal with Jack Conklin was misplaced for the season after Week 1 with a knee harm. Running again Nick Chubb suffered a grotesque season-ending knee harm the next week. Safety Rodney McLeod tore his biceps final month. Quarterback Deshaun Watson had surgical procedure to restore a fracture in his throwing shoulder. Left deal with Jedrick Willis had season-ending knee surgical procedure this week. And security Grant Delpit was positioned on I.R. on Wednesday with a groin harm. Rookie proper deal with Dawand Jones, in the meantime, who began 9 video games this season, additionally landed on IR this week and can want surgical procedure after injuring his knee final week in observe.


Field-goal makes an attempt made this season by Browns kicker Dustin Hopkins, a league excessive. That consists of three game-winning kicks — a 29-yarder within the closing two minutes towards the 49ers in Week 6, a 40-yarder as time expired to beat the Ravens 4 weeks later and a 34-yarder with two seconds remaining to down the Steelers in Week 11. Hopkins is 31-for-34 on field-goal makes an attempt and has made all eight of his makes an attempt from 50 yards or longer. Bears kicker Cairo Santos can also be good (6-for-6) on kicks of no less than 50 yards. Santos is 26-for-28 on field-goal makes an attempt this season.


Career sacks by Browns cross rusher Myles Garrett, together with a team-high 13 this season. Garrett is the franchise’s all-time chief in sacks and has recorded no less than 10 in six consecutive seasons. The four-time Pro Bowler set the Browns’ single-season sack report with 16 in 2021, matched that whole final season and is threatening to tie or break the report once more this yr.


NFC groups with a successful report since Week 4, together with the Bears, who’ve overcome an 0-4 begin to climb to 5-8. The finest workforce within the NFC since Week 4 is the Dallas Cowboys, who’ve gone 7-2. Four different squads are 6-3 in that span — the 49ers, Eagles, Lions and Vikings. The Bears are 5-4 and head to Cleveland with their first two-game successful streak since late within the 2021 season. The final time the Bears gained three consecutive video games was in Weeks 14-16 in 2020, once they beat the Texans, Vikings and Jaguars to revive their playoff probabilities.