Was Mike Tice fooled by the sackless game last week? Did he think his line was able to handle one on ones off the edge without any chip help? A little chip is sometimes all that's needed to slow a defender, and to allow the offensive tackle to set up in good position to block. But we'll never know if a well timed chip could have slowed down the Niners, because Mike Tice didn't bother.
I don't understand why the Chicago Bears didn't pull at least one of their offensive tackles. Both were embarrassed so bad by San Francisco linebacker Aldon Smith, that I'll bet a benching would have come as a relief to both J'Marcus Webb and Gabe Carimi.
If it simple stubbornness? Does Mike Tice believe his guys should be able to do better, so he continually puts them in position to try? If someone has a clue, please educate me, because this is about as piss poor an effort as I've ever seem.
Here's where we stand so far;
Sackwatch after 10 games
2010 - 37
2011 - 23
2012 - 34
Last year at this time the Bears were coming off their 2nd consecutive game holding an opponent without a sack. They also lost Jay Cutler to a thumb injury and had their season go down the toilet. This week the Bears gave up 6 sacks, but they may be getting Cutler back next week, if he clears all concussion tests. Is that the silver lining?
Before I put myself through the torture of looking back through the sacks, my initial assessment is that the Bears tackles were playing too high, and not using their hands very well... On to the film...
Sack 29 - First Quarter 9:15 - Aldon Smith
The Bears found themselves in a very manageable 3rd and 2, after two four yard gins by Matt Forte on first and second down. Aldon Smith was lined up outside of left tackle J'Marcus Webb, but not very wide. It wasn't his speed that flummoxed Webb on this play, it was a simple bull rush. Webb caught Smith rather than delivering a solid hand punch, and he allowed Smith to get lower and out-leverage him.
A quick sidebar: There's a fine line between delivering a forceful hand punch, and overextending ones self while using your hands. As a pass blocking offensive player thrusts his hands into a defender, it's easy for him to get off balance. He has to keep a good base, and deliver a punch using all upper body. A run block hand punch is more core strength than arm strength, and more like a boxer getting his entire body into the movement.
Sack 30 - Second Quarter 12:34 - Aldon Smith
This was a 1st and 10 strip sack by Smith that Campbell recovered. Smith again beat Webb with a bull rush, but then a quick dip inside to sack the QB. Over on the other side, right tackle Gabe Carimi looked to be standing in mud against defensive tackle Ray McDonald. J'Marcus Webb received the sack allowed stat, only because Aldon Smith is faster that Ray McDonald.
Sack 31 - Second Quarter 2:34 - Aldon Smith
Another 1st and 10, and another sack by Smith. This time the two 49er Smith's ran a stunt, and just overwhelmed Webb and Rachal, nothing tricky, just more mano a mano beat downs. The left side of the Bears line along with center Roberto Garza was no match for Justin and Aldon Smith. An absolute garbage effort. I'll give the sack allowed stat to Rachal, but it could have very easily been on Webb.
Sack 32 - Third Quarter 13:53 - Aldon Smith
The Bears start to the 2nd half was reminiscent to their 1st quarter start. Two runs by Forte, setting up a 3rd and 3, only to have Aldon Smith get to Campbell again. Only this time Smith got to beat right tackle Carimi. Yay! An equal opportunity ass whipper!
Carimi may have been bracing himself for a bull rush, because the quick stutter step by Smith made Gabe look foolish. Smith gave a Hesteresque move then dipped inside, practically untouched for the sack.
Sack 33a - Negated by Penalty
At 6:14 of the 3rd quarter, linebacker Ahmad Brooks strip sacked Jason Campbell, only to have the referees make one of the oddest calls ever. They called Illegal use of hands on Aldon Smith as he chased down the fumbled ball and pushed Carimi. Campbell was injured on the play and had to be attended to by Bears trainers, but for some reason he was allowed to remain in the game for the very next play. Thankfully for Bears fans the sack was negated, and they scored their first TD in the last two weeks. Hooray for offense...
Even though this sack didn't count, I'll take a peek at it anyway. Brooks beat Carimi with a speed rush to the outside, but it was another bull rush from Aldon Smith against Webb that caused Campbell to initially scramble. Brooks chased Campbell down for the strip sack. Both Chicago tackles pooped the bed of this play, again.
Sack 33 - Fourth Quarter 10:22 - Aldon Smith and Justin Smith
How lazy of Aldon, having to split the sack on this play. I hope 49er fans really let him have it on San Fran sports radio this week. Sigh...
Aldon Smith remained on the Niners left side, I suppose he wanted to even up the sucktitude of J'Marcus and Gabe, and he bull rushed right through Chicago RT Carimi. Smith was allowed to gain too much momentum before the Bears tackle even touched him. At that point the force from Aldon (Force = Mass times Acceleration) was too great to stop. Carimi was too upright, and he didn't offer up much of a punch.
The other Smith, Justin, just bull rushed Webb straight back into Campbell. Webb was... you guessed it... Too high, and he was out-leveraged by J. Smith.
Sack 34 - Fourth Quarter 9:38 - Aldon Smith
This was the strip sack that led to the safety on 3rd and 28. Someone please tell me what the Hell Chilo Rachal was doing standing over the ball momentarily? (Was that moment of cluelessness the final straw?) On this sack, it was Carimi that was beat again, only this time it was pure speed that Aldon Smith used to make the play. Smith ran to Gabe's outside, slapped his right hand on Carimi's left shoulder, and dipped inside for his final sack of the day. Right guard Lance Louis tried to help once his teammate was beat inside, but it was too little too late.
Over on the left side, Justin Smith beat J'Marcus Webb like a government mule, and arrived at the Bears QB a millisecond after Aldon.
At some point you have to imagine Mike Tice and Lovie Smith thinking to themselves; 'Golly, that Aldon Smith is kicking our ass tonight.", and yet not on any of these 6 sacks did the Bears help out some way. No chip, no slide protection, no back waiting to assist, nothing.
To recap, 3 sacks on Carimi, 2 on Webb, and 1 on Rachal. And the totals are;
Sackwatch Breakdown After 10 Games
Jay Cutler - 8
Gabe Carimi - 7
J'Marcus Webb - 5
Chilo Rachal - 3
Kellen Davis - 2
Matt Forte - 2
Lance Louis - 2
Sacks Happen - 2
Chris Spencer - 1
Micheal Bush - 1
Matt Spaeth - 1