What a difference a few weeks makes. The first time out against the Lions, in a hostile and very LOUD dome, Mike Martz lost his damn mind and put his offense in terrible situation after terrible situation with his play calls and scheme. This time out, against a very good Lions pass rush, he was much smarter and the Bears rolled to a big win. The vitriol was flowing after the week 5 Lions match-up, and looking back on it that loss had as much, if not more, to do with the idiotic play calling than it did with the Lions being a better team. The Lions are good, the Bears are just a notch better.
As bad as that week 5 game was, the Lions only got 3 sacks that night. Jay Cutler was running for his life on 99.9% of his dropbacks, and thankfully that seemed to be the tipping point for the Martzfense. After that game he wised up. This time out against the vaunted Lion pass rush, Jay was dropped twice and he didn't face nearly the same kind of pressure as the last time. Martz called a total of 25 pass plays, the two sacks, 4 scrambles, and Cutler was 9 of 19 for 123 yards. On to the Sackwatch!
Sack 22 - 2nd Quarter 7:44 - Lawrence Jackson
It was a 2nd and 8 from their own 25 yard line when Jackson dropped Cutler for the 2nd time this season. It was a counter play action to Matt Forte to the right side. The Bears motioned tight end Matt Spaeth left to right and he settled in next to TE Kellen Davis, and they even pulled Chris Williams to the right to sell the run. It was a well designed play. The Lions rushed only the front 4 and the Bears released 3 receivers into the play, both wide outs that were lined up to the left and Davis. Davis was open after dragging across the formation, but Cutler held onto the ball a tick to long and he ran into Williams. Williams saw some pressure off the edge and the angle he took to cut the Lion DE off led him into Cutler. He may have gotten too much depth on the pull in the first place, but his concern was helping Spaeth. Jackson was rushing against J'Marcus Webb, but I really wouldn't call this sack his responsibility. Had Cutler not bumped into Williams I think he would have been able to hit Davis for a 1st down as the two Bears receivers cleared out the entire right side and there would have been plenty of running room for him.
Sack 23 - 2nd Quarter :27 - Cliff Avril
The Bears just took their 3rd time out of the half and had a 1st down on the Lions 22 yard line. If you remember, this play was the incomplete pass that was reviewed into a fumble. Avril gets credit for the sack as it was his swat that caused the bobbled ball that Cutler tried to throw. The Bears were in a shotgun and Avril came right around Lance Louis. This was an instance where if the Bears would have chipped Avril it would have allowed Louis a better angle for staying with his block. Avril was out in the Wide 9 and he just ran to the spot where he thought Cutler would be. Louis really didn't have a chance.
This sack put the Bears in a hole and they had to settle for a FG attempt. But alas... the wind didn't die down for Robbie Gould and he missed it...
Last year the Bears gave up two sacks to Jarred Allen of the Vikings in week 10 and even with the 2 allowed against the Lions, they are still well under last seasons pace.
Sackwatch after 9 games
2010 - 34
2011 - 23