Instigator / Con

Will the Bears Win The Division(NFC North)


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1. I would prefer anyone who has a general consensus of the NFL to come and challenge
2. No points should be given other than convincing arguments
3. We are only debating that they will win the division, not if they make the playoffs, therefore claiming they are a wild card playoff team will cause your argument not to be counted
4. Injuries will take a role in this debate, as they affect the playoff chances
5. Forefiet of around results in an auto loss
6. Evidence should be mostly fact related(stats, injury confirmations), your analysis is an opinion and that is what judges are looking for
7. Respect the opponent
8. The opening person may start with 3 opening arguments, the con may add +1 to the round 1. Then there shall be no more addition args

Round 1
I thank my opponent Imabench for accepting debate, He agrees to the rules below and we start

As much as it pains me to say it I don't think the Bears will win the NFC North this year. 

I. Offense

The Chicago Bears offense is ranked 26th in the NFL, one of the worst in the NFL. They have no momentum in the 2nd quarter and the passing game isn't there

Here are some stats to prove: 

While the Bears may have a rushing game that is #12, they have a poor pass offense, ranked #28 while Vikings, Lions and Packers are all significantly better

The run game also doesn't matter in this case, Minnesota is #14 vs the rush while the Bears only place #12, 

QBs can help a team out, but Trubisky has the lowest passer rating in all of the NFC North. He is 11 points behind Stafford in passer ratings and 30 behind Rodgers. He only gets 77.3 Trubisky causing him to be inconsistent

Rodgers: 103.7
Cousins: 98.8
Stafford: 88.1
Trubisky: 77.3

QBs prove that the better one will win. Trubisky had a 20-3 lead in the 4th quarter, yet he blew it. Good quarterbacks preserve the lead, but GREAT quarterbacks come from behind. Mitch hasn't came from behind with a TD pass, therefore, not making him a great QB

II. Secondary

The Chicago Bears secondary is abismal compared to the pass rush. I noted key secondary mishaps by the Bears

Week 1 vs Packers: Eddie Jackson tripped up by Davante Adams
Week 1 vs Packers: Fuller drops ball to potential end the game
Week 1 vs Packers: Trivan misses a tackle to let Cobb go for 72yrds on a quick pass
Week 2 vs Seahawls: Secondary misses 5 tackles to allow Lockett to get a 3rd down and 11
Week 3 vs Cards: 2 wide open touchdowns vs the CARDINALS
Week 3 vs Cards: Trivan misses a key tackle for the Cardinals to get a big game

The Bears have an issue hear, they are going up against some good receivers and if they can't hold them, they are likely screwed. They just get beat out easy. You can't rely on a pass rush to carry your team to a division title. Unless more depth is added, the Bears will not be able to hold up anyone.

They allow 7.7 yards per attempt, the bottom of the league ranked #22, teams with QB's that have lots of stamina would be able to torch them with quick pass plays to get them first downs. They have given up the longest TD pass that one coming from the Green Bay game.

While each NFC North team has a great pass offense they have a very weak one, proving they can not win games without a key secondary, as they were torched by the Packer that had a good pass offense in the 4th quarter. 

III. Nagy

Nagy is a college type playcaller who's plays are complex. But they don't work, it doesn't cater to Trubisky, a medium pass scrambler who like running and RAC. He doesn't run the ball, a key part to this Bears offense. His playstyle really doesn't the team

The Packers Game: Nagy passes the ball up 17 in the 4th. This is time to drain the clock with a weak run GB run defense and a strong running core. Instead he runs screens that cause short gains that lead to 4th downs, setting up Rodgers to win the game. He runs a zone defense when he should be blitzing the ball with his deadly rushing core. he ran a 3 man rush. It was effective because they are beasts, but they should put more pressure.

Another example, the Cardinals game. The Cardinals would blitz to force pressure on Trubisky, so he run a PA play in the end zone. He keeps running PA's event though they result in in-completions and Trubisky has proven to under throw balls like in Week 2 vs the Seahawks. He consistently throws the ball in needed situations. This is an example of a college type coach, who has too much confidence in Trubisky. Let him do what's comfy, then we can throw deep with him.

Concluding, while the Bears have a fearce rush defense, it doesn't stand with other NFC North teams. Looking forward to your args as a Bears fan ;)
To argue why I believe the Bears will win their division, I will break down my arguments into 4 main categories..... The strength of the Bears offense, the strength of the Bears defense, the overall weaknesses of the teams in the Bears division (Packers, Lions, Vikings) and the overall strength of schedule for each team in their division.... 


1) The Bears Offense

As Con mentions, the Bears have the 12th best Rushing offense in the league. This is important and valuable for a team to have, because a credible rushing threat forces defenses to plan for it, which in turn opens up the ability for the Bears to 1) Throw the ball when they want to since defenses will be more concerned about the run, and 2) Control the game clock by maintaining time of possession and keeping the opponents offense off the field..... In contrast, teams that have only a good passing game without a good running game have historically been underachieving if not outright terrible. In order to have a successful playoff run and good ability to win the division, you need to have a formidable or at least decent rushing attack, which the Bears have.  

As evidence for how even a semi-decent rushing game helps a team win games and perform well, lets look back to 2017... The teams that threw the ball the most often and had the highest percentage of passing plays compared to running plays were the Dolphins (64%), Lions (62%), Buccaneers (62%), Giants (62%), Browns (62%) and the 49ers (61%)....... Of these teams, Only the Browns had a semi-decent rushing attack (18/32 in the NFL in total rushing yards) while all the other teams simply could not run the ball at all (Giants ranked 26/32, Bucs ranked 27/32, Dolphins ranked 29/32, Lions ranked 32/32)

How did the teams with the worst rushing performances and the highest pass-to-run ratios do in the league? Not only did NONE of these teams win their division, they didn't even come close, with NONE of the teams making the playoffs. Teams that had the worst rushing offenses combined went 29-67 (Lions were the only team that did half decent at 9-7). 

What about teams that did have a good rushing attack in 2017? Of the top 3 teams that had the most rushing yards last year, 2 of those teams were the Jaguars and the Eagles, one of which just hammered the Patriots at home in Jacksonville, and the other having beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl.

In summary: A solid or even half-decent rushing attack is a great thing for an offense to have, and evidence from last year indicate that teams that have even decent ability to run the ball are far more likely to reach the playoffs than teams that rely almost entirely on throwing the ball..... The Bears have a decent rushing attack, and while its true that a team cannot have only a decent rushing game in order to win their division, the Bears do not have ONLY a decent rushing game, which brings us to our next category. 


2) The Bears Defense 

Con argues that the Bears have a weak secondary, implying that by extension the Bears have a weak defense overall for teams that have a solid pass attack, however, that is ignoring the Bears front line which is the -BEST- in the league.... The Bears are 2nd in the entire league in fewest Rushing Yards allowed per game (just 65 yards per game) and also 5th in the entire league in TOTAL yards allowed per game (289 Yards Per Game). 

It also is worth pointing out that having a strong Front 7/Pass Rush does help out a secondary that has some 'weak' spots, as evidenced by how despite having a 'weak' secondary, the Bears still have the 11th best pass-defense in the entire NFL:

When your defense is almost top 10 against the pass based on your front line alone, ranked 2nd in the entire league in rushing yards allowed per game, and top 5 in fewest yards allowed total, THAT is a defense that is capable of propelling a team to the Divisional title...... If you look at teams in 2017 that had the best overall defenses, 3 of the top 5 teams were the Vikings, Jaguars, and Eagles, who made deep runs into the playoffs [1]. Looking more specifically at fewest Rushing Yards allowed per game in 2017, the top 2 teams in the League are the Eagles and the Vikings, who again made deep playoff runs and even won the Super Bowl [2]

Based on defensive capability alone, the Bears have tremendous ability to shut down both a run game, and shut down an offense almost entirely. Teams that have had defenses perform as well as the Bears's defense have gone on to win their division and the Super Bowl itself as recent as last year. The Bears have such a tremendous defense based on these early statistics that a team would have to perform almost -perfectly- in order to put up points against the Bears. Meanwhile, teams that have been less than perfect have been able to defeat the Bears' rivals in the NFC North, which brings us to our next argument. 


3) Weaknesses of the Lions, Packers, and Vikings

The lone loss the Bears have so far in the season has come at the hands of the Packers, where a sure-fire Hall of Fame quarterback named Aaron Rodgers led an admittedly impressive comeback over the Bears. Beating Rodgers in Green Bay is always a Herculean task for any football team to pull off, so it can't be held against the Bears that they didn't pull it off (especially since they lost by only 1 point, and it was the 1st game of the season).... Apart from that game, the Bears have not had any other losses and their defense has looked tremendous almost every time they came onto the field..... In the meantime though, the other teams in their division have shown some pretty glaring signs of weakness....

- The Packers lost to the Chiefs in Week 2 by a score of 33 to 21. Now, the Chiefs appear to be the hottest team in the NFL at least on offense, and look like they could win every game this year, but then again, that looked to be the case last year when the Chiefs won their first 5 games.... Then they fizzled down, barely made it into the playoffs, then got swiftly eliminated by a Titans team that went 9-7: So while losing to the Chiefs may not look very bad on paper, we've seen the Chiefs appear far stronger than they actually are in the very recent past, so losing to them is not entirely forgivable...... More importantly though, a quick glance at overall rankings and the Packers' rosters reveals that Aaron Rodgers does not have many weapons around him to use. The Packers are currently just 14th in the NFL in Passing Yards per game, and 24th in Rushing Yards per game [1] [2] Because their defense is pretty unremarkable, the performance of the Packers depends entirely on how well Aaron Rodgers does. While he was able to overcome the Bears in week 1 at home in Green Bay by a single point, he won't be able to carry his team every game because he simply doesn't have the help around him he needs to do so (see Andrew Luck of the Colts, or Russel Wilson of the Seahawks, or Tom Brady of the Patriots as evidence for this)...

- The Vikings appear to be the exact opposite of the Packers in that they're breaking in a new QB from a different team, but looked like they might win the division outright given their weapons on offense and pretty respectable defense. They came fairly close to beating the Packers themselves in overtime in week 2..... However, it came as a complete and utter shock to literally everyone when they absolutely shat the bed against the Bills in their own stadium by a score of 27 to 6.... This loss was STUPENDOUS in how unexpected it was.... In fact, it was the biggest upset in the NFL since 1995 when the Redskins beat the Cowboys by 7.... In this game, they lost by THREE TIMES that score, and to a Bills team that many considered to be the worst in the entire NFL ...... If a team that just tied the Packers completely implodes against what is considered a team worse than the Browns, by 3 touchdowns as well, then suddenly every game on the Vikings schedule looks questionable, and the Vikings look a lot more beatable, no matter how many weapons Kirk Cousins looks like he has to use.... 

- The Lions are currently ranked last in the NFC North since the Vikings and Packers tied their game and are 1-1-1 while Detroit is 1-2... However, 1 of those losses was to a Jets team that outscored them 48-17 where Matthew Stafford threw FOUR interceptions and went 3-13 on Third Downs. The Jets defense is performing fairly well so far this year (8th overall in total yards allowed), so if Matthew Stafford ever has to face a team that has a better defense than the Jets that likes to force a team to throw the ball, Stafford and the Lions will probably have a pretty bad day. Which team has a solid defense that ranks 3 spots better than the Jets and is second overall in shutting down the run? That would be the Bears.

So while its only been 3 weeks into the NFL season so far, the Vikings and the Lions have some MASSIVE issues that have already reared their heads, and the Packers have pretty much no help for Rodgers who will have to carry his team every single week. They (Rodgers) may have beat the Bears once already, but it was in Green Bay in the first game of the season.... Once the Bears have played a few more games and host the Packers in Chicago, things probably wont go easily for Rodgers, or anyone else who the Bears get to play, which brings us to our final argument..... 


4) Strength of Schedule

One of the best ways to guess which team will win the division is to see how well the teams they are expected to play are doing. Based on last years records, the Bears are already tied for 8th in terms of hardest matchups, where teams the Bears will play had a combined record of 133-123 The Vikings are tied with the Bears at 8th, while the Lions are tied at 2nd, and the Packers are ranked 1st for hardest schedule according to the same list. 

Already, the Bears have an edge. If we dive deeper into the schedules though and look at non-divisional games the Bears and their divisional rivals have (meaning the times the teams in the NFC North play teams from other divisions, not each other) then things really start to spread out in the Bears' favor.... Below is a list of non-divisional games each team has, along with a few notes about how those matchups could go (Because every team in the NFC North plays the Dolphins for some reason, I didn't include them in the lists.... Just know that despite being 3-0 The Dolphins do not rank in the top half of the NFL in either rushing or passing, so every team has a pretty decent ability to beat them despite their strong start)

Bears Opponents: 
 - Bucs (Look pretty decent, but they just lost to the formerly winless Steelers, and this game is in Chicago)
 - Patriots (Just lost to the Lions who were winless, also can't run the ball and rely entirely on passing) 
 - Jets (1-2, rookie Quarterback)
 - Bills (1-2, rookie Quarterback) 
 - Giants (1-2, atrocious offensive line)
 - Rams (Admittedly this one will be tough, but this one is also in Chicago, which might make the difference)
 - 49ers (Just lost Garoppolo for the season) 

All these teams the Bears face are beatable, especially considering how great the Bears defense is and how the Bears have home field advantage in some of the tougher games they'll have like against the Bucs and the Rams. 

Packers Opponents:
 - Also face the Bills, Jets, Dolphins, Patriots, and 49ers
 - Rams (This one will be IN Los Angeles, whereas the Bears face them at their home field)
 - Seahawks (Its at Seattle, we've seen the Packers choke against them before) 
 - Cardinals (Packers will probably win this one)
 - Falcons (Terrific offense, capable defense)

Packers and Bears have 5 of the same non-division opponents. If we judge both teams to be about equal based on the score of their game (22-21), the Falcons and Rams games will be incredibly hard for the Packers to win. However, this team depends entirely on Rodgers, so if he falters against in a game against any of these other teams, the Packers won't have anyone to fall back on to bail them out, and they will probably lose. 

Vikings Opponents: 
 - Also play the Jets, Dolphins, and the Patriots.
 - Rams (In LA, their next game after getting torched by the Bills, so good luck)
 - Eagles (In Philly, Defending Champs, good luck)
 - Cardinals (Winnable, though they lost to the Bills so anything is possible)
 - Saints (Saints beat the Falcons who are a lot like the Bills)
 - Seahawks (In Seattle)

After blowing one badly to the Bills in their own stadium, there isn't a game on the Vikings schedule anymore that looks like a guaranteed win. Maybe the Cardinals and the Jets are wins, but the Rams and the Saints and the Eagles will be super hard, especially since two of those games happen in the next 2 weeks following that Bills loss. 

Lions Opponents: 
 - Also play the Dolphins and the Bills
 - Cowboys (Winnable)
 - Seahawks (At home, also winnable)
 - Panthers (Have only lost to the Falcons so far, they look pretty good)
 - Rams (They threw 4 interceptions against the Jets, they wont do good against the Rams lets be honest)
 - Cardinals (Winnable)

The Lions look like they have the easiest schedule out of any team in the NFC North now that we've seen a few games be played, but the issue is that the Lions themselves are look really inconsistent.... How do you beat the Patriots in Boston by 16 when 2 weeks earlier you lose 48-17 to the Jets? If the Lions are inconsistent against teams that are struggling, they're not going to do good against teams that have their act together like the Panthers and the Rams, and will probably lose a handful of other winnable games along the way. 

In summary: If I'm nice and say the Bears lose against the Buccaneers and the Rams, the Bears could easily win the 5 other non-divisional games they play this year.... The Packers meanwhile would also probably lose to the Rams, and their offense is not elite in either passing (14th [1]) or Rushing (24th [2]) [1] [2], meaning that the Packers won't win all of the rest of their games since they don't have many weapons for Aaron Rodgers, and they don't have a high caliber defense to fall back on to compensate for their average offense the way the Bears can..... In the meantime, the Lions have proven themselves to be wildly inconsistent against even mediocre teams. They will probably lose to the Rams + Panthers, and find a way to lose other games along the way (as evidenced by their implosion against the Jets 48-17)... The Vikings meanwhile face very powerful opponents like the Rams, Saints, and Eagles, all of which look like very tough games they could easily lose after completely choking against the Bills at home. 


In conclusion: 

1) The Bears have a respectable Run Offense. This allows them to control the clock, open up the passing game, and other teams with good running defenses have done well in the past, while teams that rely more heavily on passing have done horrendous.

2) The Bears defense is terrific... Any perceived 'weakness' in their secondary is compensated for by their front 7, which has allowed them to shut down the running game, almost shut down offenses in general, and has put up numbers that are consistent with previous teams that have won both Divisions and Super Bowls in the recent past

3) Their divisional rivals all have visible signs of weakness.... The Packers rely entirely/exclusively on Aaron Rodgers to win games for them, and he will inevitably falter in one of them. The Lions are wildly inconsistent, and the Vikings just had a historical loss to the Bills and now face the powerhouse Rams and Eagles in back to back weeks

and 4) The Bears have an edge on strength of schedule because they either face easier teams, or have home games against harder teams, whereas Packers face additional tough matchups that more often then not will be on the road, while the Lions and Vikings are inconsistent and will probably lose additional games to beatable opponents in addition to the ones they are already expected to lose to really tough opponents as the season continues. 
Round 2
I thank my opponent for his arguments. I shall move to rebuttals to his claims

First off I would like to mention that my opponent does not talk about Nagy and his style, therefore my opponents concedes the Nagy debate so extensions for that

-Nagy does not fit Trubisky's playcall
-Nagy's collegian level plays do not work in today's nfl
-Nagy doesn't focus on the Bears solid run game
-Nagy is not a good enough coach in his first year to guide the Bears to an NFC North Division win

Vote CON for Nagy

Anways onto the the rebuttals

I. The Offense AT

My opponent talks about how running game being a vital target. While I agree that run game is vital, the passing game is critical in it's sense as well

Let's look at the teams with the worse pass offense. Chicago, Indy, Buffalo, Baltimore, Carolina. Buffalo ranked #6 is run offense, yet was destroyed by a team with a better run offense, true. But they ALSO had a better a pass defense by a landslide. A pass game is key to winning games with a good rush defense, and that is not simply going to go an do it in a game. That is an example of the pass prevailing over the run

Here are the stats for that game

Taylor 17/37 0 TD 1 INT
Peterman 0/3 0 TD 1 INT

Bortles 17/23 1 TD 0 INT

The weaker running game in this was believe it or not the Jags as Fournette ran 21 carries for 57 yards while McCoy ran 19 times for 75 yards. You clearly see who did better, but who won. It was the team with the better pass offense

Let's dive deeper. New Orleans had the a top 5 pass offense while Carolina had a top 5 worse pass offense, a dramatic difference. With 2 elite QB's, Brees wins this wild card matchup 31-26. Let's look at stats.

Cam Newton 24/40 2TD, 0INT
Drew Brees 23/33 2TD 1INT

All of the Panthers rushes added up for a total of 26 carries for 107 yards while New Orleans had only 19 carries for 44 yards. Yet who still one? The Saints

Yes the saints did score a rushing TD, but one was to a fullback that only ran it 1 yard, fullback being a forgotten position now a days and one from a lucky Panthers miss.

You clearly see teams with consistency are the teams that end up performing better. The most balanced team right now is Detroit right now offense vs defense. If Detroit keeps up the consistent run->pass efficiency, they will take the lead in the division. While the Bears have a top run, that isn't enough to propel them and even in some cases, Rodgers will still be Rodgers and with his insane QB awareness, will find a way to come back.

Every division leader has a QB that is viable as well. Trubisky has the weakest passer rating. Dolphins have Tannehill, Chiefs have Mahomes, Bengals have Dalton, Titans have Mariota, Rams have Goff. These QB have some top tier. Trubisky hasn't proven top tier yet so we can not say he will win the division

II. Defense AT

My opponent argues that a pass-rush would be enough to claim a division title. While that may be true, it needs to be perfected, which Nagy hasn’t done yet. Even if the most extreme cases, a good secondary is key to winning games. They stop big TD’s and make athletic plays. Look at the 2017 Vikings vs Saints game, the rush defense versus the Saints was average being ranked 16th in rush yards allowed, there pass defense was ranked #15, so they were a middle team in general.

The passing game was on fire for Brees

Brees: 25/40, 284yds 3TDs and 2INT
Keenum 25/40 318yds 1TD, 1NT

If we looked at passings TD’s alone, who would win. The Saints right

Wrong, the Vikings did. Off one play that cost the game. The best secondary misses a tackle badly and let’s Stefon Diggs go for a TD. The Saints would have won this game and things would have went differently. But instead, a key collapse in the secondary causes them to lose.

Secondary is key to a pass defense. Rushing a passer may get to a quarterback's head. An experienced QB will be able to handle pressure, shown in the 20-3 choke in the 4th quarter. Did you know all the turnovers were from Kizer, a really bad rookie? None where from Rodgers, a confidence in pocket QB with a wide range of skill sets. The pass rush couldn’t stop in

The secondary can stop a big gain or force key turnovers on short passes. A dropped interception changes the game, even an interception shifts the game. Missed tackles shift games. In that Bears game, 2 secondary collapses happen. The Davante Adams joke that caused a mismatch and the 75 yd Randall Cobb TD after a miss tackle.

There is no denying that a better safety would have made those tackles and intercepted the ball, and that is what wins games.

Even in the Super Bowl, both teams had bad pass defenses each QB having 3 TD’s. In an equally bad secondary match, then it comes down to pass and run defense, where the excel at.

The Vikings have a better secondary so than the Bears, so as evidence proves, they will the division.

III. AT Weakness of Other NFC North

My opponents next argument is the weakness of these teams.

The Packers lost 33-21 in the PreSeason of this year before playing the Bears. The preseason doesn’t really matter unless a major injury happens, so really, anything can happen. They did not lose to them in Week 2, they tied the Minnesota Vikings. Since the PreSeason cannot be applied to how the PRO wins the NFC North clinch, this argument is invalid.

Moving on…

Packers: Rodgers is able to carry the team by himself. They even beat the Bears in this. When Rodgers was on the field for that game, he didn’t turn the ball over, however when Kizer turns the ball over 2 times causing the Bears to dominate. Rodgers changes the tempo of the game. He is like Khalil Mack to the Bears defense. Every around him needs to perform better than him. He was down 20-3 in the third and he still managed to pull off a win, proving as long as he is still in, the Bears will not find a way to stop him

Even so...Rodgers is having a phenomenal season and even better than he has had in the prime 2014-16 days. He is coming off a passer rating of 104.5 with 6 TDs and has a higher pass % than ever and also has nearly ¼ of his passer yards already in Week 3. Rodgers is not slowing down unless he gets injured, so I highly doubt he will get worse

He’s even showing sign of a prime Rodgers. With the Packers playing much easier teams, he will for sure have an MVP like season, even playing on practically 1 leg

Vikings: Yes, the Vikings did lose a pretty bad game to the Bills, I am shocked myself. The offense completely shut down. However I don’t think that will define them in the long run. We saw many upsets in Week 3. The Bills also have an average pass defense that can get the job done. It isn’t awful, but it isn’t god tier.

Buffalo won because of the run defense. Without Dalvin Cook, the Vikings best rusher, they were unable to do anything. Buffalo also is #5 for run defense, so they aren’t a trash team is that stance. Also with Kelvin Benjamin and Josh Allen as a good passing duo, they aren’t a bad team in general. They just needed the right time to prance. They lost to some pretty good teams.

The Chargers have faced 2 top 5 teams and put up one hella of a fight with them. They are not an easy win for opponents. The Bills put up points against them too. The Bills have been playing bad and made decisions

Even the Ravens, they have a solid team to start. They lost to a 3-0 Bengals team and beat a solid Broncos team. They are not a bad team in any sense. They are 2nd in the division and right now contenders to win the division.

Remember, Buffalo also has a solid run game when McCoy is not hurt. The O-Line is workable and can make holes and McCoy is a power rush. This just proves when fully healthy, this is team is pretty good.

The Vikings also beat a healthy 49ers team, where they had a solid chance of having a wild card, of course, this is down the toilet with the Jimmy G ACL Tear, they were competitors. When Dalvin Cook comes back, Cousins will have a deadly receiving duo and a good RB with a Top 10 defense. Vikings can easily shut down the Bears defensively. Once Cook is back, momentum will return. The Vikings play Thursday Night vs the Rams. If they find a way to win, I believe this team is a force and for sure will clinch.

Lions: While very unlucky to win, they showed everyone Sunday Night that they can start stuff. And they aren’t a bad team at all. They are a consistent good offensive team that have good receivers and a good RB. They even have the best pass defense in the league right now, giving up the yards

However, they are dead last in run defense, which hasn’t affected them too much. They even have had good games against good teams. The Jets game was to forget.  Even though they are a mildly good team, a brutal loss is unacceptable. They also lost a solid 49ers team AT THE TIME. They put up a good too and the 49ers had a good corner in Sherman, and they performed fairly well.

The Patriots game was to speak for themselves. It was beautiful. They stopped Brady and thumped in pass.
They are still contenders if they fix the broken run game.

IV. Schedule

I don’t fully understand this, as 14/16 games we play are the same team, but i’ll respond anyway as you only do a part of the schedule

For the Bears, I will give my in depth analysis on the teams provided

Bucs(FitzMagic did lose, however he made a WTF comeback that almost beat them. They won in NOLA and they are a (1-0) away)
Pats(it’s Tom Brady, he will torch their secondary)
Bills(agree, but don’t count out)
Rams(a tough team in no way will they win. The defense and offense is too much. 3 amazing receivers, this game might be less close than we think)
49ers(unless they find a solid qb to replace, this is an L)
Dolphins( I hope they win and they might. If Tannehill plays like this, he could beat us)


Seahawks(yea they are known to choke, but the Seahawks are dramatically worse this season I have them winning)
Rams(will get smoked)
Dolphins(pretty sure they will win, cmon, they are going to run out of steam, Bears play them when they are going to be shaky)

Rams(This could go either way, but they are going to lose if Cook is not healthy
Eagles(I don't know but I don’t think they play them soon. They were close last year. I think they will take the reins off an win with a good QB this time)
Saints(win here too, I think they can pull off a win vs a ehh saints d)
Panthers(win, too inconsistent)

And Lions same thing as you.

Overall the Packers have a schedule that they can win. I think it is possible that they pull of a division win. The Vikings can win all these games mentioned too
I thank my opponent, looking forward to round 2

First things first: I apologize for my mistake I made last round citing the Packers-Chiefs game in the preseason where the Packers lost... I somehow mistook that game for the Packers-Redskins game that took place in week 3, where the Packers lost 17-31, as evidence for why Aaron Rodgers cant simply will his team to win every game in the season....

Second: I do drop the Nagy argument made by Con because the terms of the debate were that whoever accepts the debate can only make 4 arguments. I wanted to introduce two of my own, and therefore decided to respond to Con's 2 strongest arguments and concede the third since the third argument is based mostly on personal opinion rather than tangible facts and statistics. 

Lets continue :D


1) The Bears Offense

To boil down this argument: 

- Con agrees that a running game is vital, but argues that a passing game is also critical to win the division. 
- I concede that a passing game is nice to have, but prove its not ultimately necessary to have one to win the division if you have a terrific defense to compensate

As evidence for why having a great passing game isn't always necessary to win the division, lets look at the 2017 teams that had highly ranked passing offenses

Chargers = #1 in Passing = Did not win division, did not even make playoffs
Buccaneers = #4 in Passing = Did not win division, did not make playoffs
Lions = #6 in Passing = Did not win division, did not make playoffs
49ers = #9 in Passing = Did not win division, did not make playoffs

2 teams that ranked TOP 5 in the entire NFL in passing not only did not win their division, they did not even make it to the playoffs as a wildcard team..... Looking at the top 10, almost HALF of those teams didn't win their division or make it to the playoffs. 

That was in 2017, lets look at 2016

Saints = #1 in Passing = Did not win division, did not make playoffs
Redskins = #2 in Passing = Did not win division, did not make playoffs
Colts = #5 in Passing = Did not win division, did not make playoffs
Chargers = #8 in Passing = Did not win division, did not make playoffs
Cardinals = #9 in passing = Did not win division, did not make playoffs

So in the past two years, nearly HALF of teams in the NFL that have the BEST PASSING OFFENSES in the whole league did not win their division, nor made the playoffs either. This effectively proves that while a good passing game is a nice asset to have, it is not vital to being needed for a team to win their division. 

So while the Bears do not have a good passing game, they don't need one to win their division. The Bears have a good rushing game, and a terrific defense, which makes them more than able to win their division, since teams with even terrific passing games routinely fail to clinch their division based on actual statistics from the past 2 years. 



2) The Bears Defense 

My opponent argues that a pass-rush would be enough to claim a division title. While that may be true, it needs to be perfected, which Nagy hasn’t done yet
Opinion..... The Bears pass rush ability alone has been enough to put the Bears into the top 5 teams in the league for overall defense, which is more than good enough to help them clinch a division title. 

In 2017, of the top 10 teams in the league in overall defense, half of them went on to win their division (Vikings, Jaguars, Eagles, Steelers, Falcons).... Of the teams that didn't, 3 of them failed to because there was another divisional rival that also had a top 10 defense (Cowboys -> Eagles... Bears -> Vikings.... Panthers -> Falcons)

That means only TWO teams in 2017 had a top 10 Defense but didn't win their division in which they clearly had the best defense in their division.... Considering that half of the teams with a top passing attack in 2017 couldn't win their division, this indicates that teams with better defenses do far better in clinching divisions than teams with great passing attacks, which works against teams like the Packers and more in favor of teams like the Bears. 

The Vikings have a better secondary so than the Bears, so as evidence proves, they will the division.

The main flaw in Con's argument that the Vikings have a better secondary than the Bears is that he cites instances from just a single game to prove his point. Applying instances from an individual game to a team for the entire season is just not practical in determining how the team will perform.... Players have bad games, nagging injuries they are still recovering from, while others over perform and have the games of their lives. In order to get a good idea of how a team will actually perform as the season goes on, the better metric to use is evaluate team stats from the 3 games completed so far, which offers a larger sample size with better accuracy for how teams actually are. 

Furthermore, lets examine teams that have the best secondary's and see how they ultimately did in winning their division. 

Top 10 teams from 2017 for fewest passing yards allowed per game (aka Best Secondary's) and how they finished the season:

Jaguars = Won Division.......... (Ranked 6th in total Offense)
Vikings = Won Division.......... (Ranked 11th in total Offense and also ranked 2nd in Rush Defense)
Chargers = Lost Division, Missed Playoffs
Broncos = Lost Division, Missed Playoffs
Steelers = Won Division 
Seahawks = Lost Division, Missed Playoffs
Bears = Lost Division, Missed Playoffs
Bengals = Lost Division, Missed Playoffs
Redskins = Lost Division, Missed Playoffs
Ravens = Lost Division, Missed Playoffs

In 2016, we see a similar picture. 

Broncos = Won Division........... (4th in Total Defense) 
Texans = Won Division.......... (1st in Total Defense)
Vikings = Lost Division, Missed Playoffs
Cardinals = Lost Division, Missed Playoffs
Jaguars = Lost Division, Missed Playoffs
Bills = Lost Division, Missed Playoffs
Bears = Lost Division, Missed Playoffs
Seahawks = Won Division
Ravens = Lost Division, Missed Playoffs
Rams = Lost Division, Missed Playoffs

Once again, we see only 3 teams that rank top 10 in the NFL with the best Secondary not win their division. Of those teams that did win their divisions, a majority of them also had other qualities to their team that better indicate why they ultimately went on to win their division.

In summary: 
- Only 2 of 10 teams in 2017 with top total defenses definitively better than any other team in their division did NOT go on to win their division
- Only 3 teams in 2017 and 2016 with top secondaries went on to win their division. 

So not only do teams with even the best secondaries routinely fail to win their divisions, but better OVERALL defense is a FAR better indicator of which teams will win their divisions..... The Bears fall into the latter category, and based on data from the past two years, the Bears have far better odds of winning their division since their strength is overall defense rather than just a solid secondary/pass defense. 



3) Weaknesses of the Packers, Vikings, and Lions

 - Packers

Rodgers is able to carry the team by himself
They just lost to the Redskins 17-31..... Rodgers completed just above 60% of his passes and threw 2 touchdowns, and the Packers matched the Redskins in Turnovers, Time of Possession, and just about every other statistic you could measure teams by..... They still lost by two touchdowns.

Redskins also aren't even that good of a team either, ranked about 18th in the entire NFL

Rodgers therefore cannot carry the team all by himself through the season... He was unable to do it against a Redskins team rightfully considered 'average', and will likely fail to do it again at other times as the season continues..... Meanwhile, the Bears only have 1 loss by 1 point from the first week of the regular season, and have won their other games where their defense has looked phenomenal. 

- Lions

They are dead last in run defense, which hasn’t affected them too much 
Their record is 1-2 and they are ranked last in the division as of Saturday... It kind of has affected them. 

The Jets game was to forget
You cant just ignore games in which teams do bad, or rather horrific, just because it undermines your argument. They lost to a fairly bad Jets team (ranked 29th in previous link) by a whopping score of 48-17. That cannot just be ignored..... It indicates that the Lions as a team are inconsistent at best, and that they will probably lose both to teams firing on all cylinders like the Rams while also finding ways to lose other games to more beatable opponents. The Bears meanwhile do not have a bad loss this far into the season, which if they keep up gives them great odds to win games against the many average teams they will face this year. 

- Vikings

Yes, the Vikings did lose a pretty bad game to the Bills, I am shocked myself. The offense completely shut down. However I don’t think that will define them in the long run
We can't just hope/assume teams will improve in the long run though, we have to look at them for how they are now. The Vikings lost to the Bills, considered the worst team in the NFL, at home by a score of 27 to 6.... You're not going to be able to win the division if you only put up 6 points against the Bills in your own stadium.  

Vikings can easily shut down the Bears defensively
The Vikings are ranked 21st in total defense and couldn't even shut down a Bills team that was starting QB Josh Allen in his very first game..... If they can't hold back a Bills team still getting on its feet, they are not going to 'easily' shut down the Bears offense, especially since the Bears rank better than the Bills in both Rushing, Passing, and Overall Defense (Bears rank 12th in Rushing and 28th in Passing...... Bills rank 19th in Rushing and 30th in Passing).... 

So if the Vikings can lose to a Bills team that is 5 ranks worse than the Bears on both Offense and Defense by 3 touchdowns, they will not 'easily' beat the Bears by any metric.... If their game against the Bills is anything to go by, they'll probably lose to the Bears by an even LARGER margin, since the Bears are better than the Bills in every metric, and the Bills just throttled the Vikings IN Minnesota. 



4) Strength of Schedule

This final argument was to examine the ability every team in the NFC North has at winning their division based on how easily/difficult their schedule is.... Because every team in this division play each other twice, for the sake of fairness I split those games for each team where all of them win 1 of their 2 matchups, meaning each team is basically at 3-3 for the sake of fairness, with 10 other games in their schedule..... Each team also plays the Dolphins, who are currently undefeated but look fairly weak statistically, and each team also has to play the Rams, where everyone will have to play perfectly to even have a chance at beating them. 



The two toughest games the Bears have are against the Buccaneers and the Rams.... The Bears face both of those teams at home in Chicago, which will help them..... Assuming the Bears sweep the 4 games they have at teams that are currently 1-2, and splits the 6 games against division rivals, that puts them at 7-4 before those remaining difficult games, with just their matchups against Dolphins, Rams, and Bucs games being very much up in the air....

Counting their wins against the Cardinals and Seahawks in Weeks 2 + 3, the Bears are now easily looking at a 9 win season at worst regardless of how those tougher games against the Bucs, Rams, and Dolphins goes down..... If they win 1 or 2 of those games, they could go reach 10-6 or even 11-5 assuming they split the they have games against their divisional rivals..... 

Apart from the Rams game, every other game the Bears play are games where they have a chance to win it. Even against the Rams they have a shot since its IN Chicago. No other team in the division has that same luxury due to losses they've had against average or below-average teams, meaning the Rams have the best looking schedule and by extension the easiest path towards winning their division.  



The Packers face many of the same 1 win 2 loss teams the Bears do and get home field advantage against some good-looking teams (Falcons and the Dolphins in Green Bay).... The big problem though is that Rodgers isn't infallible.....

The Packers just lost to a very average Redskins team in an away game, so they could very much well lose to other average teams that are away games such as the Seahawks, Patriots... They could even risk losing some of the home games they have against the Falcons and Dolphins, who are performing much better than the Redskins are..... Considering they will likely lose against the Rams in LA, the Packers are already looking at 10-5-1 as a dream scenario if we assume that they split their remaining division games, whereas the Bears could easily top that since they have not shown themselves to be inconsistent. 



The Vikings are now in the same boat as the Packers following their loss against the Bills in their home stadium, and Kirk Cousins is not Aaron Rodgers.... The Vikings cannot look at any game this season as a guaranteed win anymore. 

After winning their first game, they have lost to the Bills, Vikings, and tied the Packers. That leaves them at 1-2-1 as of Saturday going INTO Philly to play the defending champion Eagles... I'm not sure what was the last time a team with a 3 game losing streak beat the defending champions in their stadium, I don't think it will be the team that lost to the Bills 27-6 during that span..... That leaves them likely at 1-3-1 following Sunday, and if they split their remaining divisional games, 10-5-1 is literally the best they can do...

But if they can lose to the Bills in their own stadium by 3 touchdowns, the Vikings will not win out the rest of their remaining non-division games. They will inevitably mess up again somewhere, probably more than once along the way. This puts their odds worse than not just the Bears, but against the Packers as well



Both Con and I agree that the Lions will probably lose to the Rams and Panthers since both of those teams look pretty good, which puts the Lions at 1-4 counting their losses to the Jets and the 49ers.... Assuming they split their divisional games with 3 wins and 3 losses, that puts them at 4-7, which immediately puts them out of contention to do better than every team left in the division. As inconsistent as the Lions are with a win over the Patriots and massive loss to the Jets, The Lions will also likely mess up again in the future and dig themselves in too big of a hole to win the division.



Due to how long this debate has already become, mostly because of my own arguments, I'll try to keep my final response in round 3 as limited and restrained as possible, and stress just the conclusions of the arguments made rather than respond to Pro's arguments a final time. 

For that reason, I stress to voters now to ONLY VOTE BASED ON ARGUMENTS, NOT ON ANY OTHER METRIC..... This was agreed to by both of us when the debate was accepted, and the only reason I'm posting sources as much as I am is for the sake of keeping my own arguments organized, not to try to take source points. 

Back to you Con! 

Round 3
Since we are on Round 3, we will do an overview of the topic(no rebuttals just finals short & concise statements to summarize the debate.

I. The offense has a strong run game and it is very good itself. However good Super Bowl winning team always that great balance. The Patriots lost because they did not have a good balance of run and pass. The Falcons lost because of the pass, and the Panthers lost because of the pass. The Bears do not have an equal balance while teams like the Vikings and Week 3 Lions prove they can rely on run and pass. VOTE CON  balance

II.  Secondary is key to win games. It is a miss or score for the offense and with no key secondaries, a pass just put in there by a Brady or Rodgers like quarterback causes big yard gain-age and instant big yardage gains to change the momentum of the game. A good offense line stops the pass enough so the QB doesn't feel pressured. A secondary is key to winning games, therefore VOTE CON on secondary magnitude

III. Extend all of Nagy arguments. VOTE CON

IV. Extend the weaknesses. The Vikings most recent loss was nearly a win after a hard fought offensive performance. They put up a good fight, and with Dalvin Cook back, momentum is tracking on the Vikings side now. The Lions proved they are a team to be messed with. While the odds of them winning are low, the Week 3 game proves that Lions can be a dark horse and ruin some standings. The Packers have Rodgers. The defense could not hold strong and some even say the refs blew that game. Rodgers carried them Week 1, why can't he do it again with his MVP like numbers. VOTE CON on Probability

V. The schedule is nearly the same for each team. The Vikings had the best probability for beating the Rams in the NFC North and they only by 1 score. The rest of the teams the Vikings play are accessible wins. Even the Packers and the Lions.  The Lions just pulled off a major upset at home, proving they can stun teams at home. 

VOTE CON in this debate..

I thank my opponent and can not wait to hear it's overview, final arguments
(Quick heads up to all voters, the rankings I used from NFL dot com for all rounds up to this point were recently updated because of the games played this most recent Sunday... So for 2017 rankings, the teams may have moved up and down from where they were prior to this most recent week of games being played... Everything should be about the same to where they were before, but won't be exactly the same any longer. All arguments will still have merit to them)

Final Summaries:

1) Bears Offense

As stated previously, teams with terrific passing games routinely fail to win their division, let alone make the playoffs at all. The Bears do not have an above average passing game, but they have a good rushing game they've been able to rely on every week this season, which is good enough to enable them to win their division when combined with their stellar defense..... An offense doesn't have to be balanced in order for a team to win their division, it just has to be good enough, which the Bears certainly have, since other teams in the past with worse-ranking offenses have gone on to win their division. 

2) Bears Defense

Secondary is NOT the key to winning games, as evidenced by how teams with the fewest passing yards allowed routinely fail to win their division or even make the playoffs. Con completely ignored all arguments from the previous round that statistically prove a good secondary is critical to winning a division.... What HAS been statistically proven is that teams with overall great defenses routinely go on to win their divisions, and the Bears have exactly that, a great overall defense (now ranked 4th overall in the league and 2nd in rush defense in the league

3) Weaknesses of Lions, Packers, Vikings

The Vikings are now on a 2 game losing streak heading into Philly to face the defending Super Bowl champions after losing to the Rams and the Bills. They are a very inconsistent team that loses close games to good opponents and loses very badly to bad teams. No game on their schedule is an 'easy win' anymore after losing to the Bills, showing how inconsistent they are while now 2-2...... The Lions are just as inconsistent after losing to the Jets and Cowboys despite managing to beat the Patriots, dropping them to 1-3 and dead last in the division..... The Packers only have Rodgers who isn't perfect, as evidenced by their loss to the Redskins.....

4) Strength of Schedule

The Vikings already have 2 losses and still have to face the Eagles, Saints, and Patriots IN New England..... The Lions are now 1-3, putting them dead last in the division, and still have to face the Rams and the Panthers.... The Packers have to face the Falcons and the Rams, and have also lost to an average-at-best Redskins teams meaning they will likely lose to other teams along the way as well as good teams that are better balanced than the Packers are......

Only the Bears do not have a bad loss on the season, their lone loss by 1 point to the Packers in the very first week IN Lambeau..... Since then, the Bears have not lost a game, and recently DEMOLISHED the Buccaneers who were considered a good team up to this point. That leaves only the Rams as their toughest game remaining, since all other teams on their schedule are 2-2, 1-3, or are the Dolphins who just got torched by the Patriots..... The Bears now have the easiest remaining schedule of all teams in their division, with only one game going to not be in their favor and assuming all teams in the Division split games against each other. 


For these reasons, the Bears will win their division. Their defense is outstanding, their offense is good enough, other teams have shown to be inconsistent, and the Bears remaining schedule against other teams is now the easiest out of anyone in their division. 

Thanks for reading! Remember to vote ONLY for argument points!