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Chicago Bears Sackwatch 2011; Week 7 vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Sackwatchcutler_medium The Bears are still well under last years record setting sacks allowed pace.  And check this out, they are even starting to creep down the sacks allowed category for the 2011 season.  There are now three teams that have given up more sacks than the Bears, in fact they are tied for 4th worst.  I can't believe I'm actually excited the Chicago Bears are 4th worst in something.  Oh well, it's still progress...

The Bears pass protection hasn't been that bad the last couple weeks.  It's a combination of the offensive line playing better and Mike Martz scheming better.  With the bye week upon the Bears and the coaches, I'm wondering how they plan to set the o-line moving forward.  Gabe Carimi should be ready to get back in the mix, but Lance Louis has looked good at right tackle.  Louis could kick inside to guard, but Chris Spencer has had a couple solid games in a row.  Would they entertain the idea of moving Spencer to his natural position of center in place of Roberto Garza?  I doubt it, but what about Chris Williams over at left guard, has he played well enough that his starting spot is set in stone?  And at left tackle, J'Marcus Webb did give up another sack in London, so is his spot safe? 

This morning on am670 The Score Brad Biggs speculated that he didn't believe Carimi would be ready to go for the Eagles game, and that it may be more logical to give him some extra practice time and have his first start back be at home against the Lions.  Now about those 2 sacks...

Sack 20 - 3rd Quarter 12:54 - Adrian Clayborn
This sack showed the inexperience of J'Marcus Webb.  He had to have known that fullback Tyler Clutts was waiting with help to the outside.  And knowing that his help was waiting he never should have allowed Clayborn to come back under and get inside.  With outside help, Webb has to induce the outside rush of Clayborn by shortening his kick step or by turning his shoulders open more.  Anything to get the DE up-field.  Knowing where the help is at is a must in pass protection, and it's something that Webb will improve on with experience.

Sack 21 - 4th Quarter 3:44 - Ronde Barber
What a great individual play by Barber.  He perfectly timed the snap and shot the A Gap, and Cutler didn't have a chance.  Barber showed his blitz too late for the line to adjust to, and with Spencer and Garza both covered there was no one to block the blitz.  The Bears were down to 3 seconds to the play clock, so Cutler couldn't even reset his cadence.  He had to hope that Barber was just bluffing.  Matt Forte was assigned to pick up the free man, but the timing didn't allow that to happen.  It was just a great play.  I'm curious to see who is assigned blame when some of the advanced stat sites break down film.

Overall the pass protection was solid throughout the game.  Cutler did a good job sliding around the pocket to give himself better throwing lanes and to avoid some pressure.  But I do not think this was Jay's best game throwing the ball.  He forced a few passes, and his second pick was a terrible read.  It seemed as though he got caught up with the pass happy second half game plan too, and forgot about some of his check downs.  He had two picks, a TD, and he threw for 226 yards.  His 53% passing on 17 of 32 was too low.

Remember last years week 7 game against the RedskinsWho can forget?  Yes, that was the DeAngelo Hall pickfest.  Hall got Cutler 4 times, and Cutler as defiant as ever said he'd keep going after the Redskins DB.  Not smart.  They gave up 4 more sacks in that week 7 game, but then it was the much talked about bye week intervention with Martz about his play calling.  Cutler and the Bears O performed much better after that point.  Hopefully some similar tweaks are done with this seasons bye week.

Sackwatch after 7 games
2010 - 31
2011 - 21