Chicago Bears Sackwatch 2011; Week 13 vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Oh my God, they killed Caleb!

Well that was a step back for the Bears pass protection. The only thing that saved my blood from boiling on Sunday was I didn't see the second half live. For the first time in a long time I had things I had to do that prevented me from watching the entire game. And avoiding the score would have been next to impossible, so watching the game on DVR later wouldn't have been an option. So I knew all about the horrific seven sacks and the eventual 10-3 loss while watching the game. That's like watching The Usual Suspects and knowing who Keyser Soze is. But enough chatter, I have 7 sacks to breakdown... On to the Sackwatch!

Sack 28 - 2nd Quarter 5:06 - Justin Houston
This sack took place immediately after the missed connection from Caleb Hanie to Earl Bennett who was wide open running towards the end zone. As fate would have it, Bennett beat Justin Houston on the play, so of course it'd be Houston that would pick up his 1st career sack. It was 3rd and 12 from the K.C. 25 yard line and the Bears thought it would be a great time to go empty backfield and release 5 receivers into the play. The Chiefs rushed four with OLB Houston coming on an outside rush against Bears right tackle Lance Louis. Chicago right guard Chris Spencer had his own defender that shot through his outside shoulder to the B gap. When Houston dipped back inside Louis didn't have a chance.

Sackwatchcutler_medium When looking to assign blame, my guess is Louis will get the sack allowed stat, but in my opinion it was the deep penetration by Spencer's guy that created the lane for Houston to dip back underneath for the crushing sack. Once Houston made his inside move Louis was caught up in the wash.

Sack 29 - 3rd Quarter 1:31 - Tyson Jackson
The Bears were in the midst of a very solid drive, a nice pass to Devin Hester, a 26 yard burst by Kahlil Bell, and this was a 2nd and goal from the 7. It was a deep drop off a play action fake and Chiefs DE Jackson didn't bite at all. He flew right past Louis and picked up his 1st sack of the year. Jackson made a quick feint to the inside then beat Louis to the outside. Lance didn't get a good hand punch and he didn't move his feet very well. This sack is solidly on Louis.

Sack 30 - 2nd Quarter :57 - Justin Houston
Yes, this was the very next play. And yes, this sack was on Louis again, and yes it was a deep 7 step drop, and yes Mike Martz sent five receivers out in the pattern. Louis seemed to be unsure if Houston was going to blitz, and he stayed with Spencer's guy a tick too long. He just pawed at him with his left hand, but that made him slow in his kick step in getting back to cut off Houston. His immediate thought should have been to Houston who was lined up wide, then if Houston dropped out he could help back inside.

Sack 31 - 4th Quarter 13:23 - Jon McGraw
Hanie was lined up in a shotgun on a 3rd and 7 from the Chicago 36. This was the 3rd straight pass play called by Martz on the drive. An incomplete, then a 3 yard scramble, then this sack. The Bears were only down 1 TD so they could have stuck with the run. Anyway... The Bears kept both backs in to block, but the Chiefs rushed seven. Safety McGraw came off the Chicago right edge and was Kahlil Bell's responsibility. Hanie felt pressure so quickly from all over that he took off to the right. McGraw dove and got a piece of Hanie. Hanie could have thrown the ball awayto avoid the sack as he was out of the pocket, but the pressure got on him so fast, he didn't have much time to react.

Sack 32 - 4th Quarter 9:28 - Justin Houston
The very next time Martz dialed up a pass play, Hanie was dropped for a 5th time. It was a 3rd and 9 from the Chicago 33 yard line after two consecutive Marion Barber runs, the first for 3 yards then for a 2 yard loss. Maybe that's why Martz wanted to throw. Anyway... Hanie dropped back with his shoulders parallel to the line and Houston stuck his hand in there and simply knocked the ball loose, getting credit for his third sack. Houston was the responsibility of Lance Louis. Houston made a strong outside move and Loius turned his shoulders a bit too much opening the door for Houston to duck inside. To Louis' credit, he made a solid recovery and punched Houston so he didn't get a solid shot on his QB. Hanie ended up picking the ball up after the fumble and he made it back to the line of scrimmage.

Sack 33 - 4th Quarter 2:45 - Derrick Johnson
The Bears just picked up a nice 17 yard pass play to Johnny Knox when Hanie was dropped by Johnson, and K.C. outside linebacker Johnson was rushing against Lance Louis. The ball probably should have come out as Hanie had a solid 3-4 seconds before he was sacked, he even clutched up like he was about to unleash the ball. Louis took Johnson wide of the pocket using good technique, but when Johnson saw Hanie up in the pocket he came off the Louis block and made the play. Louis has to maintain his feet in anticipation of his man coming back inside, especially after taking him so far past.

Sack 34 - 4th Quarter 2:06 - Tamba Hali
Hanie barely got the ball away on the play right before this sack. This was a 3rd and 13 on a play the Bears desperately needed with the 2 minute warning nearing. Chicago showed a 2X2 look out of the shotgun with one back in the backfield when the Chiefs called a time out. With some time to think it over Martz decided to put Hanie back under center, and run trips left with Bennett motioning back to a 2X2. A seven step drop later and Hanie is dropped for a seventh and final time. The Bears had 5 guys running routes, as the running back immediately went to the right flat, and the Chiefs rushed 4. Had Tamba Hali not picked up the sack by beating Louis yet again, Houston was right there too after beating LT J'Marcus Webb. Louis was beat on a quick up and under move and Webb allowed Houston to slip inside after stonewalling Houston's outside rush.

This was not Lance's finest day.

Last year during week 13 the Bears beat the Lions 24-20 in Detroit, and they gave up 4 sacks, including 3 to Cliff Avril (damn that Cliff Avril!). They're still ahead of last years pace, but a few more Martzpolsions and Caleblunders and the total will keep creeping towards last years pace.

Sackwatch after 12 games
2010 - 45
2011 - 34

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