Cliff Avril top 4-3 defensive end entering Week 3
Cliff Avril’s stellar performance through the first two weeks of the season has been, unfortunately, overshadowed by Jimmy Graham and Kam Chancellor headlines. Avril sits atop the 4-3 DE rankings through Week 2 at +7.8. Other two week figures include a +6.8 pass rush rating (1st), ten QB hurries (1st), and four QB hits (2nd).
Avril has done his damage nearly all from the left side of the defensive line, lining up on the right side only four of 53 pass rushing snaps. He leads all defensive ends with a 19.8 pass rush productivity rating, and his 14 total QB pressures are four clear of teammate Michael Bennett.
It will be an interesting matchup this week when Avril goes up against RG-turned-RT Kyle Long. Last season, Long was the eighth-highest graded RG at +12.1, and finished with a 98.2 pass-block efficiency rating (second-best among RGs). Even though he rebounded after a rough -4.7 Week 1 game against Green Bay this year, he’s already surrendered seven QB pressures. Last season at RG, he gave up 15.
Avril looks poised to disrupt the Bears offense, taking advantage of a lineman that’s still adjusting to his new position, as well as backup Jimmy Clausen getting the start.