This season's week five feels a whole heck of lot better than last season's week five. Last year at this time the Bears were coming off the Monday Night disaster against the Lions where Jay Cutler was harassed all night by the Wide 9 defense of Detroit. They only gave up three sacks, but it seemed Cutler was running for his life the entire 60 minutes.
Last Sunday Jay was hurried and hit a few times, but the pass protection managed to hold the Jaguars without a sack until the 3rd quarter. And surprise, surprise, it wasn't J'Marcus Webb that gave up the sack. The self proclaimed leader of J'WebbNation has played solid football the last couple weeks.
This week the lone sack was given up by right tackle Gabe Carimi, but before we look at the specifics of the play, let's see how the Sackwatch stands after 5 weeks.
Sackwatch after 5 games
2010 - 21
2011 - 18
2012 - 14
Not only are the Bears under the Sackwatch pace of the two years they spent in the Mike Martz offense, but there are 7 teams with as many, or more sacks allowed than the 14 of Chicago. With the Bears bye week coming this weekend, they may slip even further down the sacks allowed list.
Sack 14 - Third Quarter 11:31 - Austen Lane
When a defensive end has a good 4 step head start until he engages a tackle, that is a good recipe for a sack. Jaguar defensive end Austen Lane was lined up outside Chicago tight end Kellen Davis in a 9 technique. On the snap Davis gets a free release to run his pass route, leaving Lane some time to build momentum on his edge rush.
Right tackle Gabe Carimi takes a great angle with his kick step to cut off the defender, but he passively catches Lane's rush instead of attacking it. Now by attacking I don't mean moving up into the DE, because that's an easy way to for him to overextend himself, but he should have done a better job with his hand punch.
Lane came straight into Carimi with a bull rush, so Gabe could have violently thrust his hands into Lane's chest plate. Then instead of being driven backwards, he should have sunk his hips a little lower and used Lane's own momentum against him by taking him up-field past Cutler.
Easier said than done I know, but Carimi would be the first to tell you his technique wasn't the best on the play.
The Jags did get some pressure right up the middle, but had Lane not been in Cutler's face he would have had time to make a play.
Here are the sacks allowed by the Bears from week to week;
Week 1 vs. Colts - 2
Week 2 vs. Packers - 7
Week 3 vs. Rams - 2
Week 4 vs. Cowboys - 2
Week 5 vs. Jaguars - 1
That Thursday night game against the Packers was a bad game all around for the pass protection. The offensive line had some technique issues, Cutler held onto the ball a bit long, and Mike Tice is on record saying he didn't call a very good game. But look at those other games... Ideally you'd like to see zeros on the board, but the o-line is playing better.