For just the second time in Jay Cutler's Chicago Bears tenure he wasn't sacked. Watching the game, you have to give equal props to the players and to the scheme. Mike Martz did a good job calling plays, play that included some extra bodies left in to block and to help chip on the Eagle d-ends. And the best part was that the players executed beautifully. Don't look now, but the Bears have dropped down to 10th in sacks allowed. After the jump let's see where we stand in the Sackwatch after 8 games.
Sackwatch after 8 games
2010 - 32
2011 - 21
Last year the Bears played the Buffalo Bills in their week 9 match-up and gave up only 1 sack. There were coming off a bye then too, and they made adjustments that worked. In 2011's week 9, facing a very good Philly pass rush, the Bears pass protection simply got it done. The offense is just continuing the roll that they've been on since that Lions disaster and as long as Martz doesn't go back to being an idiot, I like the Bears chances the rest of the way.
Since I have no sacks to breakdown, I'll give my take on the current state of the o-line. As I've said all along, J'Marcus Webb has left tackle skills. He's shown flashes of solid play and he's shown flashes of youthful mistakes. He's a work in progress, but as long as he isn't left on an island for every single pass play, his confidence will grow, his technique will improve, and he may eventually be a guy you can count on to block a top DE one on one.
Chris Williams has been solid all year. You can tell he's growing into the position. His quickness on the pull, and ability to get outside and seal off the edge is exactly what the Bears need with the style of runs they like to work in the game plan.
Roberto Garza is a solid pro. I didn't think he'd be at center this far into the season, but if there ain't a problem, don't go looking for one.
I thought Chris Spencer would be starting at center by now, but he's provided good interior depth at guard. He's playing with a bad hand, but is still clearing bodies and pulling around the edge. A solid pick up by Jerry Angelo.
Lance Louis is my new favorite Bear. I like a nasty offensive linemen that play the game with a mean streak, from Keith Van Horn to Olin Kreutz, and now Louis. Him going after Jason Babin when Babin was on the ground is exactly what you want a hustling high motor player to do. I thought he was starting to come on at right guard before he kicked out to tackle, and he's played with good technique out there. It presents an interesting problem for the Bears once Gabe Carimi is healthy.
And speaking of Gabe, he shouldn't see the field until he's 100%, and once he is ready to play he needs to beat out either Spencer or Louis to get on the field. Of those 3, Mike Tice will play the best 2. Louis will either move back to RG or stay at RT. The future on the right side looks nasty with Louis and Carimi, two get after it type players that won't take any crap.
I'm not so blind that I don't see some of the limitations this group has, but as long as Martz keeps helping out his guys with smart play calls, they'll grow and gel together. The arrow is pointing up for this group.