Bears have company in drops category

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Dropped passes by the Chicago Bears became one of the major storylines after the team’s defeat last week at the hands of the Green Bay Packers.

But interestingly, Chicago isn’t the NFL’s worst at that statistic.

Through the first three weeks, the Bears are tied with seven teams -- including NFC North rivals Green Bay and Detroit -- for third in the league with a combined five drops, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Other teams with five drops include the New York Giants, Cleveland Browns, Indianapolis Colts, Atlanta Falcons, and the New York Jets.

The St. Louis Rams and Tampa Bay Buccaneers lead the NFL in drops with eight and six, respectively.

It’s questionable how much the drops really mean at this point for teams. Of the teams tied with Chicago with five drops, just two of them -- the Colts and Falcons -- have the same or worse records than the Bears, while the five other teams with five drops are either undefeated or 2-1.

“I talked about the protection being pretty good [against the Packers],” Bears coach Lovie Smith said on Monday. “We had a couple of drops. We missed a couple of throws, but that’s how that game went.”

Looking at the drops individually, five players -- Devin Hester, Dane Sanzenbacher, Tyler Clutts, Johnny Knox, and Kellen Davis -- are credited by ESPN Stats & Information with one drop apiece. Receiver Roy Williams wasn’t credited for what appeared to be a drop on a pass in the end zone against the Packers because it’s likely the defensive back was credited with a pass breakup on the play.

“It was my fault,” Williams said. “Put it on me, especially the touchdown. I have strong enough hands, especially with the contact that I got. It was a great hit by him, but I still have to hold on to that ball.”

Running back Matt Forte has been the club’s most targeted player and leads the team with 22 catches. Knox has been targeted 18 times, followed by Hester (17), and Sanzenbacher (15).