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Chicago Bears Sackwatch 2011; Week 17 vs. Minnesota Vikings

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Are you kidding me? Seven sacks? Including 3.5 to Jared Allen. Did Mike Martz not get the memo that Allen was all amped up to go for the single season sack record? It took Martz far to long to give his left tackle J'Marcus Webb any help on the relentless Allen. Had Chicago QB Josh McCown been more established in his Chicago Bears tenure, and more secure with his Chicago Bears future, I think an F-Bomb directed at the Mad offensive coordinator would have been appropriate.

After the jump we'll take a look at the final Sackwatch numbers.

Sackwatch after 16 games
2010 - 56
2011 -49

Sackwatchcutler_medium In the 2010 season finale the Bears gave up 6 sacks to the Packers, taking them to a league worst 56 sacks allowed. The 49 given up this season places them 5th worst. In 2010 the Bears allowed 92 QB hits, good for 8th from the bottom, in 2011 that number decreased to 87 QB hits, so technically they did improve in the overall numbers, and that's about the only positive I can take from the pass protection from 2011. A statistical improvement.

There was a stretch where the Bears did a good job in protecting the QB via scheme, but for some reason all that was forgotten once Caleb Hanie took over. Good riddance to the stubborn Mike Martz.

The new OC better put an emphasis on moving Jay Cutler around, and on helping out his tackles. And I would love to see some play action strikes to the tight ends. But that is for another post, so let's get to work...

Sack 43 - 1st Quarter 1:56 - Jared Allen and Erin Henderson
A 1st down sack is such a deflater. Chicago ran a play action pass on 1st down and Henderson didn't bite on the fake. He came untouched off the Bears right edge. It looked like tight end Matt Spaeth should have been the man responsible for at least chipping the blitzing linebacker, but he turned his attention inside. Over on the left side, Jarred Allen just used Bears LT J'Marcus Webb by starting off with a wide rush then dipping back inside. But the initial pressure actually came from Viking DT Fred Evans as he beat Chicago center Roberto Garza with a quick move.

Sack 44 - 2nd Quarter 11:25 - Chad Greenway
The Bears were in a shotgun for this 3rd and 9 play, and it was actually pressure from Allen that caused McCown to step up into the sack. Greenway's blitz was initially picked up by Kahlil Bell, but he slipped the block when McCown stepped up.

Sack 45 - 2nd Quarter 5:03 - Jared Allen
On 3rd and 11 Allen strikes again. This time it was a 7 step drop and Martz thought it would be a good idea to give Webb zero help. Allen just ran right past Webb. No. Chance.

Sack 46 - 3rd Quarter 15:00 - Jarred Allen
On the first play of the 3rd quarter Allen gets to McCown for his second and a half sack. Great half time adjustments by the coaches... After showing his speed around the edge against Webb earlier, this time Allen gave the bull rush then came back under for the sack.

This isn't even a technique issue, Webb is just just physically outmatched by Allen. I'm sure when they look at the film, Mike Tice will tell Webb to sink his hips more, to be more physical with his punch, and to move his feet, but this wasn't Webb's day.

Sack 47 - 3rd Quarter 10:41 - Kevin Williams
Time for a DT to get in on the act. This was the long stunt by Williams who was lined up over Bears LG Edwin Williams before he looped all the way around to the right side. On the FOX telecast they called it a 3-man stunt, because Williams looped around two teammates. It was kind of a slow developing play, but the Bears should have been aware of the defensive stunt and passed off the pass rush better.

Sack 48 - 3rd Quarter 5:27 - Jarred Allen
Allen again, but at least this was his last one of the day. Webb didn't have a chance against the speed rush of Allen. This game really showed all of Allen's repertoire. If the memory of this game dosen't get Webb out of bed everyday to bust his ass, then the kid has no pride.

On the very next offensive play that the Bears ran, they kept in two tight ends on the left side to help Webb. Better late than never?

Sack 49 - 4th Quarter 13:38 - Brian Robison
A 1st and 20 after a holding penalty wasn't bad enough, so why not take a 6 yard sack, fumble the ball and make it 2nd and 28. Luckily Allen was out of the game at this point, otherwise he may have had another sack. Robison did a little stutter step head and shoulder fake against Lance Louis and Louis slowed his feet enough to allow Robison to get around him. Had Louis maintained better balance he would have had enough leverage to push the defender past his QB, but with the dead feet Robison was able to slap at the ball out of McCown's hand and cause the fumble.