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The Vic Fangio effect: Comparing the Bears' and 49ers' defenses

Before taking over as Bears defensive coordinator this season, Vic Fangio held the same post for San Francisco for four years, commanding one of the top defenses in the league. In 2014 San Francisco ranked fifth in yards allowed per game; however, since Fangio left the defensive powerhouse has fallen: The 49ers are 29th in 2015. Fangio meets his old team on Sunday, when Chicago takes on San Francisco at Soldier Field.

Meanwhile, the Bears defense under Fangio has improved. The team improved its yards-allowed-per-game ranking from 30th in 2014 to 14th in 2015, and the number of points allowed per game is down.

Record through week 12

From 2014 to 2015, San Francisco has gone from a winning record to sitting at the bottom of the NFC West. The Bears, meanwhile, have the same record as they did at this point a year ago.

2014, through week 12

2015, through week 12

SF

SF

CHI

CHI

5 - 6

7 - 4

5 - 6

3 - 8

(5-11 season)

(8-8 season)

Defensive

coordinator:

Mel Tucker

Defensive

coordinator

Vic Fangio

Defensive

coordinator:

Vic Fangio

Defensive

coordinator:

Eric Mangini

Points allowed per game

Fangio’s Chicago defense has held opponents to fewer points this season compared to last. San Francisco’s defense has allowed more points in 2015.

2014 season

2015, through week 12

WORSE

CHI

SF

27.6

24.6

SF

CHI

21.2

24

BETTER

Yards allowed per game

As with points allowed, the Bears improved in overall yards allowed, while San Francisco got worse. The Bears haven’t improved in all yardage types, though: The pass defense got better while rushing defense has not.

Total offensive yards allowed per game

2014 season

2015, through week 12

WORSE

SF

CHI

397.9

377.1

CHI

343.1

SF

321.4

BETTER

Passing yards allowed per game

2014 season

2015, through week 12

SF

WORSE

276.8

CHI

264.4

SF

CHI

220.7

214.5

BETTER

Rushing yards allowed per game

2014 season

2015, through week 12

CHI

128.5

WORSE

CHI

112.7

SF

121.1

BETTER

SF

100.8

Sacks and interceptions

Both teams have done worse this season in sacks and interceptions.

Sacks per game

2014 season

2015, through week 12

CHI

2.4

BETTER

CHI

2.0

SF

2.3

WORSE

SF

1.7

Interceptions made per game

2014 season

2015, through week 12

SF

1.4

BETTER

SF

0.6

CHI

0.9

WORSE

CHI

0.5

Record through week 12

From 2014 to 2015, San Francisco has gone from a winning record to sitting at the bottom of the NFC West. The Bears, meanwhile, have the same record as they did at this point a year ago.

2014, through week 12

SF

CHI

5 - 6

7 - 4

(5-11 season)

(8-8 season)

Def. coordinator:

Mel Tucker

Def. coordinator:

Vic Fangio

2015, through week 12

SF

CHI

5 - 6

3 - 8

Def. coordinator:

Vic Fangio

Def. coordinator:

Eric Mangini

Points allowed per game

Fangio’s Chicago defense has held opponents to fewer points this season compared to last. San Francisco’s defense has allowed more points in 2015.

2014 season

2015, thru wk. 12

CHI

SF

27.6

24.6

SF

CHI

21.2

24

Yards allowed per game

As with points allowed, the Bears improved in overall yards allowed, while San Francisco got worse. The Bears haven’t improved in all yardage types, though: The pass defense got better while rushing defense has not.

Offensive yards allowed per game

2014

2015

SF

CHI

397.9

377.1

CHI

343.1

SF

321.4

Passing yards allowed per game

2014

2015

SF

276.8

CHI

264.4

SF

CHI

220.7

214.5

Rushing yards allowed per game

2014

2015

CHI

128.5

CHI

112.7

SF

121.1

SF

100.8

Other defensive metrics

Both teams have done worse this season in sacks and interceptions.

Sacks per game

2014

2015

CHI

2.4

CHI

2.0

SF

2.3

SF

1.7

Interceptions received per game

2014

2015

SF

1.4

SF

0.6

CHI

0.9

CHI

0.5

Source: NFL

@ChiTribGraphics

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