Chicago Bears Sackwatch 2013: Week 13 vs. Minnesota Vikings

Adam Bettcher

Even after allowing their most sacks on the season thus far, the Chicago Bears are still way under the Sackwatch pace of years past. Check out my breakdown of each sack that the Bears allowed on Sunday to the Minnesota Vikings.

Even though Josh McCown was sacked a season high four times, the Chicago pass protection gave him enough time to throw for 355 yards. As a matter of fact, I thought he had a clean pocket most of the day, and the pass pro held up fairly good. So good that three of the four sacks allowed aren't entirely on the protection.

Let's take a look at where we stand so far.

Sackwatchcutler_medium

Sackwatch after 12 games
2010 - 45
2011 - 34
2012 - 36
2013 - 21

To further illustrate just how solid the pass pro was this week, Pro Football Focus gave the overall pass protection of the Bears a +4.5, their best grade for Chicago on the year in that particular category. Only right tackle Jordan Mils received a negative grade in pass blocking according to them, and I'll spotlight the sack he allowed in a bit.

Sack 18 - Second Quarter 4:13 Chad Greenway
This sack is on Josh McCown for one reason, he could have avoided it by simply throwing the ball out of bounds. See for yourself.

McCown is well within the rules to throw it away to avoid the sack, because he was out of the pocket. All he had to do was get the ball to the line of scrimmage. As for Chad Greenway, his initial rush was thwarted by Matt Forte, and then he settled in to mirror the quarterback. The rest of their pass pro held up.

I'm not entirely sure why McCown started drifting to his right, maybe the coverage was real tight down-field, maybe he thought Jermon Bushrod's block wouldn't hold, but his drift turned into a sprint, which turned into a stumble, and finally turned into a sack.

Sack 19 - Third Quarter 6:08 Sharrif Floyd
I could pin this sack on McCown for not getting out of there quicker, or maybe on center Roberto Garza for stepping on his QBs foot, but this is just one of those plays that happen from time to time. Sacks happen, check out the GIF.

This appeared that it may have been a package play, as wide out Alshon Jeffery stepped back to take a quick pass, but tailback Michael Bush delayed before coming through to accept the hand-off. What ever the play call was, I'm certain that Chicago right guard Matt Slauson (68) missed his block. I'm sure he wanted to induce his man, Sharrif Floyd (95), to go through the B gap (between the guard and tackle), but he let him slip by too fast.

Sack 20 - Fourth Quarter :14 Brian Robison
Brian Robison doesn't get the recognition he should playing opposite Jared Allen, but he's a solid football player. On this play he beats Bears right tackle Jordan Mills back to the inside with a variation of the hump move. Robison takes a hard outside rush, before dipping back inside and shucking Mills past him.

The hump move is a move that a defensive end sets up by going outside a lot, which prompts an offensive tackle to be concerned with the edge rush. Once a DE has that tackle cognizant about him going outside, he takes a quick step to the inside and pushes his way back through.

Mills just had too much of his weight on his right leg to stop Robison from getting back around to his left. Better balance and a more aggressive hand punch are two things he could have done to stop the hump move. Needless to say this sack is on Mills, but it was a very good move by Robison.

Hall of fame defensive end Reggie White executed this move like no other. He had the strength to hit the hump, without even setting the move up first. He would just barrel his way into an offensive lineman, thrust his inside arm forward, and get rid of the blocker with only that arm. (Link from NFL.com will pop)

Sack 21 - Overtime 12:31 Jared Allen
I suppose it was just a mater of time before Jared Allen broke through with a sack on a day the Bears called 40 pass plays. Chicago left tackle Jermon Bushrod does everything right on this play. He sets up to stop the outside rush, resets to stop an inside move, mirrors to stop the outside move again, stays in front when Allen spins off him, and finally maintains contact with Allen throughout.

Unfortunately when Allen spins, he spins right into Josh McCown.

Bushrod had no way of knowing that McCown was going to step up in the pocket so far while looking for an open receiver. The West Coast Offense is partly timing based, so that once the QB complete his drop back, his first read should be coming open. Drop back, set up, throw. If he has to scan his other receivers, the coach will ask him to climb the pocket if needed. In this instance McCown moved up nearly 5 full yards, making an almost impossible area for his protection to protect him from.

Since his pocket was fairly clean, and Bushrod did everything he was coached to do, I have to pin this sack on McCown. I thought about going with the sacks happen category, but McCown stepped up too far, and he may have held the ball a bit too long. His internal clock should have been going off after stepping up so far.

Check out the GIF, and tell me what you think?

Here's the running tally so far.

Sackwatch Totals after 12 Games

Sacks Happen - 6
Jordan Mills - 2.25
Josh McCown - 2.25
Jay Cutler - 2
Matt Slauson - 2
Matt Forte - 2
Jermon Bushrod - 2
Kyle Long - 1.25
Martellus Bennett - 1
Roberto Garza - .25

What are your thoughts on the pass protection through 12 games?

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