# Bears-Texans game features top two defenses in NFL STOP Factor rankings

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published with a focus on stats that go beyond the numbers.

Sunday night’s game between the Chicago Bears and Houston Texans will be seen by some people as a preview of the upcoming Super Bowl.

Others will just see the game as a matchup between a couple of 7-1 teams.

I choose to view this game as a matchup between the two teams with the best STOP Factor defenses in the league.

The Bears top this week’s STOP Factor rankings with a 76.0 mark, while the Texans are close behind at 75.3. These numbers indicate that the Bears and Texans are the only two defenses in the league that have prevented their opponents from scoring on 75 percent or more of their possessions.

With that in kind, consider this: If both teams’ offenses get between eight and 12 possessions in Sunday’s contest, the Bears and Texans’ defenses will (based on this season’s stats) allow only two or three scores. Will those scores be touchdowns or field goals? The defenses may not be able to keep their opponents off the scoreboard, but will they limit it to three points or six? That will be a key to the outcome of the game.

One other quick stat: The Bears’ defense has allowed their opponents to score only 99 points in 96 possessions, an average of 1.03 points per possession. The Texans’ defense has allowed their opponents to score 108 points in 93 possessions, an average of 1.16 points per possession.

(The STOP Factor is based on the premise that it is the defense’s job to stop their opponents from scoring on each possession. To get a team’s STOP Factor, you divide the number of times a defense stops the offense from scoring – offensive unit TD or field goal – by the number of total possessions by the opposition.)

Following is each NFL teams’ STOP Factor. Listed is how many times each team stopped the opponents from scoring, the number of possessions their opponents had, and the percentage of possessions that each team prevented the other team from scoring (stats are through Week 9 games).

Team, Opponents’ scoreless possessions/opponents’ possessions, STOP percentage

1. Chicago 76.0 (73 stops in 96 possessions)

2. Houston 75.3 (70 stops in 93 possessions)

3. San Francisco 73.8 (59 stops in 80 possessions)

4. Atlanta 70.4 (57 stops in 81 possessions)

5. Arizona 69.8 (74 stops in 106 possessions)

6. San Diego 69.1 (56 stops in 81 possessions)

7. Miami 68.4 (65 stops in 95 possessions)

8. Seattle 67.8 (61 stops in 90 possessions)

9. Tampa Bay 67.0 (63 stops in 94 possessions)

10. Cleveland 66.3 (69 stops in 104 possessions)

11. New England 65.9 (58 stops in 88 possessions)

12. Green Bay 65.7 (67 stops in 102 possessions)

13. New York Giants 64.2 (61 stops in 95 possessions)

14. Denver 64.0 (55 stops in 86 possessions)

15tie. Detroit 62.5 (50 stops in 80 possessions)

15tie. Minnesota 62.5 (60 stops in 96 possessions)

17. Philadelphia 60.9 (53 stops in 87 possessions)

18. Pittsburgh 60.8 (45 stops in 74 possessions)

19tie. Dallas 60.5 (46 stops in 76 possessions)

19tie. St. Louis 60.5 (49 stops in 81 possessions)

21. Baltimore 60.0 (54 stops in 90 possessions)

22. Cincinnati 59.8 (52 stops in 87 possessions)

23. Indianapolis 59.0 (49 stops in 83 possessions)

24. New York Jets 58.8 (50 stops in 85 possessions)

25. Washington 57.0 (57 stops in 100 possessions)

26. Jacksonville 55.8 (48 stops in 86 possessions)

27. New Orleans 55.1 (49 stops in 89 possessions)

28. Oakland 54.8 (51 stops in 93 possessions)

29. Buffalo 54.0 (47 stops in 87 possessions)

30. Carolina 52.5 (42 stops in 80 possessions)

31. Kansas City 52.4 (43 stops in 82 possessions)

32. Tennessee 48.4 (46 stops in 95 possessions)

Biggest gainers this week: Dallas (up three spots this week); Cincinnati (up two spots this week); Denver (up two spots this week); Kansas City (up two spots this week); Minnesota (up two spots this week).

Biggest losers this week: Pittsburgh (down five spots this week); Detroit (down three spots this week); Green Bay (down three spots this week).

Average league STOP Factor (through Week 9): 62.4

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

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