Sackwatch after 16 games
2010 - 56
2012 - 45
What an odd finish for the Sackwatch. Depending on how you look at it the Chicago Bears either gave up one or two sacks against the Detroit Lions. According to the game's play by play Jay Cutler was sacked twice, but if you look over the Lions stat sheet, they only were credited with one sack, but if you peer at the Bears stat sheet, they allowed two.
For the case of this exercise I'll go with two, and even with those two, they still come in under the 49 of last year. Pass protection is a teem effort, and while the Bears did improve, they still have some work to do this off season.
If you didn't get to hear Bears GM Phil Emery riffing about his offensive line decisions last off season you really owe it to your self to do so. The entire press conference was an informative listen that you can find right here.
Now on to the final Sackwatch of 2012...
Sack 44 - First Quarter 10:50 - Ghost Sack
Jay just dropped the ball. He was about to throw it, and he knocked the ball out of his own hands. This could go in the sacks happens category, but since Jay bobbled the ball, Jay will take the blame.
On to the sack itself, Cutler was pressured fairly quickly due to a stunt from the Lions front four. Detroit had a LB inside lined up like a DT, and he looped around to the Bears left side as the DE took an inside rush. J'Marcus Webb couldn't react to the quick LB fast enough and the LB got after Jay. It was a unique formation from Detroit with only 2 down linemen on the field. Since it was a 3rd and 13 they figured they would catch the Bears in a for sure passing situation.
Since the Bears were in field goal range, hindsight says they could have audibled to a draw and caught the Lions undersized and out-manned. But as it was, had Jay not dropped the ball, it did look like he was about to uncork a pass to someone. Even with the pressure, Jay escaped, has a chance to make a play, but his drop led to the sack.
Sack 45 - Third Quarter 2:55 - Ndamukong Suh
It was a first down immediately after the Bears recovered a fumble, the Bears lined up in a shotgun with Matt Forte to Cutler's right, and a 2X2 tight formation. Suh just bull-rushed Chicago right guard Chris Spencer, but Kyle Vanden Bosch got a little pressure while rushing against Webb. KVB bull-rushed Webb then dipped inside when J'Marcus opened up his shoulders to much, but the sack was given to Suh, and therefore the sack allowed is Spencer's.
Chris Spencer was just no match for the sheer power of Suh. When an interior lineman is being pushed back so quickly, sometimes his best bet is to try and cut down the defender. He has to be aware if the play is a straight drop back or if his QB is rolling out. Since Cutler dropped straight back, Spencer had to know that he was being pushed into his QBs lap. At that point there's no harm in trying to cut Suh.
Final 16 Game Sackwatch Tally
Sacks Happen - 3
Micheal Bush - 1