The Chicago Bears finally held a team to zero sacks in 2012. Here's the Sackwatch as it stands right now;
Sackwatch after 9 games
2010 - 34
2011 - 23
2012 - 28
I can't say I'm that surprised considering the rainy field conditions, and considering the Houston Texans leading sacker, J.J. Watt, isn't an edge rusher. The Bears had a very good scheme against the Texans that had them paying close attention to Watt.
Only 4 teams have given up more than the 28 sacks the Bears have allowed so far. But a closer look at the breakdown shows that the offensive line may not be as bad at pass protection as we may think. I took a bye week look at the, then 14 sacks the Bears allowed, after the first 5 games. Since that time the Bears have allowed 14 more with the O-line being responsible for just 5 of them.
I'll reiterate what I wrote the last time I looked at where to place blame for the sacks, it's all subjective. I used Pro Football Focus last time out to see if we differed on some of the blame, and we did. They had a few uncredited sacks, where I had determined blame for all 14.
For this next set of 14 sacks I had two that I'll stick in the 'sacks happen' category. Sometimes an offense can execute as planned, only to have a defender read it and make a play. I also had one sack that I originally wrote off as a 'sacks happen' in my weekly Sackwatch, but now will assign blame to a player, just in case there are those of you following along at home.
Just like during the bye week breakdown, Jay Cutler again leads in sacks allowed. I pinned 4 of the sacks on him then, and he gets 4 more added to his total now. He is by far the Bears leading culprit in allowing sacks. To give him the benefit of the doubt, there were a couple instances he may have elected to eat a sack to keep the clock running, but he still has to do a better job in getting rid of the ball.
No other player was responsible for more than a single sack since the bye week. Tackles Gabe Carimi and J'Marcus Webb each allowed a sack, as did tight ends Kellen Davis and Matt Spaeth. Matt Forte allowed one as did Lance Louis. For those of you that were wondering here's the tally so far.
Sackwatch Breakdown After 9 Games
Jay Cutler - 8
Gabe Carimi - 4
J'Marcus Webb - 3
Kellen Davis - 2
Matt Forte - 2
Lance Louis - 2
Chilo Rachal - 2
Sacks Happen - 2
Chris Spencer - 1
Micheal Bush - 1
Matt Spaeth - 1
The Bears are still max protecting more than they should, so it's hard to get a real gauge on the offensive line's improvement, but by my calculations, 12 of the 28 sacks are on the offensive line, and that's not to bad all things considered. I think play calling could help the Bears out a bit, with more quick hitters, and if the run game would get going the play action would work more often.
What have you guys seen so far with the Bears pass protection that you either like or don't like?
And for a complete look at all the weekly Sackwatch posts be sure to check out our Xs & Os section. It's also where you'll find all the Windy City Gridiron expert play analysis and film breakdown.