Chicago Bears Sackwatch 2013: Week 11 vs. Baltimore Ravens

David Banks

Sometimes sacks just happen, and sometimes defenses come up with a deceptive look that can ruin an offense's play before it can even start. Check out the breakdown of the two sacks the Chicago Bears allowed this week.

You do remember last season's week 11 game don't you? The Chicago Bears allowed six sacks to the San Francisco 49ers, and a seventh was negated by a penalty. San Fran linebacker Aldon Smith victimized Chicago tackles Cabe Carimi and J'Marcus Webb for 5.5 sacks all by himself.

It was as bad a display that I can remember seeing from the Bears pass protection, and I'm getting a little pissed off just rehashing that game.

Ok, take a breath... now back to last week.

The Bears gave up two sacks to the Baltimore Ravens, but I think it should only have been one. I'll explain after we check the Sackwatch tally so far.

Sackwatchcutler_medium

Sackwatch after 10 games
2010 - 37
2011 - 23
2012 - 34
2013 - 16

Sack 15 - First quarter 13:08 Corey Graham
How a zero yard play is considered a sack is beyond me. In my world, sacks are negative plays, and since there was no technical loss of yards on the play, this should have went in the stat book as a run for zero yards.

Josh McCown faked a hand-off to Matt Forte, then spun around looking to hit a quick screen. My guess is it was supposed to go to Alshon Jeffery, but Jeffery blocked down. This may have been a package play, and McCown decided to keep it for the backside screen, but clearly someone missed the call.

This sack has to go into the Sacks Happen category, even though it should be a rushing attempt for McCown.

You've seen the play, what do you think happened?

Sack 16 - Fourth Quarter 11:14 DeAngelo Tyson
DeAngelo Tyson plays defensive end for the Baltimore Ravens, and since the Ravens run a 3-4 defense, one would expect him to be larger than the DEs the Bears employ. Leaving Matt Forte responsible for such a large man goes against most coaching philosophies, but it is possible.

The Bears come out in an offset I, strong right formation, with tight end Martellus Bennett in the slot. It looks as though they are trying to outnumber Baltimore to that side, and sneak fullback Tony Fiammetta out into the flat.

The job of Bennett and the Bears wideout was to clear out that side of the field, so McCown could hit Fiammetta with an easy quick pass.

I really think this was just a very good play design by Baltimore. By lining up linebacker Courtney Upshaw (91) on Chicago tight end Bennett, it made the Bears think that would be the match-up, so McCown's presnap read tells him that the fullback in the flat will be wide open. On the snap, Upshaw beelines for Fiammetta, leaving Bennett for the defensive back behind him.

The fake to Forte probably could have been a little more deceptive, and if I were coaching I would have liked to see Fiammetta chip on the free rushing Tyson. Had he hit the DE, and had the fake been sneakier, it would have sold the illusion of run to Forte better, and Upshaw may have pinched in instead of worrying about the flat.

If the quick hitter to the FB was the play design, that would make it appropriate for Forte to be responsible for Tyson, because all he was asked to do was go low to get him to bring his hands down. A similar play happened on the David Bass interception return in the first half. Raven RB Ray Rice had to cut Bass' hands down, he didn't, Bass picks it off, touchdown Bears.

McCown really only checks with his primary receiver, Fiammeta, then when he's not open, he takes off. It's very possible that this was a one man read, especially with the weather.

With a play action pass, the linebackers are reading the offensive line to pick up the play. Linebackers are taught to look for high hats from the guards, meaning if the guards stand up, they are setting to pass block, thus it's a pass play. Corners are also taught to use their peripheral vision to peek in at offensive tackles if they can.

In looking at the Bears o-line, the only one that sells a run is left tackle Jermon Bushrod. On the snap he lunges at Terrell Suggs, forcing him to go outside. He didn't have the best technique on the play, but knowing the play call was a quick hitter to the opposite side, he knew all he had to do was get a piece of his man.

But as to the responsibility of the sack. Chicago right tackle Jordan Mills squeezes down, leaving Tyson free, and the responsibility of Forte. It is possible that Mills squeezed when he shouldn't have, but as it looks, I have to pin this sack on Forte.

What do you think about sack #2?

Here's where I have the season Sackwatch so far.

Sackwatch Totals after 10 Games

Sacks Happen - 5
Jay Cutler - 2
Matt Slauson - 2
Matt Forte - 2
Kyle Long - 1.25
Jordan Mills - 1.25
Martellus Bennett - 1
Jermon Bushrod - 1
Roberto Garza - .25
Josh McCown - .25

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