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Chicago Bears Sackwatch 2012: Week 16 vs. Arizona Cardinals

For the love of God, will Jay Cutler ever learn how to throw the ball away to avoid a sack and the unnecessary punishment that accompanies it?

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

I have to say that I thought the Bears did a fine job holding the Cardinal pass rushers at bay. Even with all the problems that Arizona has, they do get after the quarterback pretty good. Chicago's makeshift offensive line had one of their better days, and the lone sack they gave up isn't even on them.

Last year the Bears traveled to Green Bay for their week 16 contest, and even though the Bears were handily defeated, they didn't allow a single sack. So with the one sack allowed this week, the Bears have now snuck ahead of last years pace. Here's where we stand so far on the sack watch;

Sackwatch after 15 games
2010 - 50
2011 - 42
2012 - 43

Sack 43 - First Quarter 6:23 - Calais Campbell
I can't even get on the pass protection for this play. If there is one complaint I have about Jay Cutler, it's that he hasn't a clue on when to legally chuck the ball away to avoid a sack. This particular sack only goes in the books as a one yard loss, but in a game of inches, a single yard could weigh heavily on the outcome of a game.

Once a quarterback is out of the pocket (that imaginary thing between the tackles), a QB can legally throw the ball away to avoid a sack, as long as the ball travels beyond the line of scrimmage. Jay Cutler has a problem with this little nuance of quarterbacking.

Not only is the aforementioned rule important from a field position standpoint, but it's a legal way to avoid getting hit. Cutler's pass protection does a good enough job of getting him hit, why not avoid some more unnecessary shots by throwing the ball away?

On the play itself, Cutler dropped back, had a wee bit of time, moved up in the pocket, then ran to his right before being taken down by Campbell.


Sackwatch Breakdown After 15 Games
Jay Cutler - 10
Gabe Carimi - 7
J'Marcus Webb - 5
Sacks Happen - 3
Chilo Rachal - 3
James Brown - 3
Kellen Davis - 2
Roberto Garza - 2
Matt Forte - 2
Lance Louis - 2
Chris Spencer - 1
Micheal Bush - 1
Matt Spaeth - 1
Jonathan Scott - 1