The overall Sackwatch pace is still incredibly low, but there have been some hiccups in protection this year. Pressures are still fairly high, but thanks to the mobility of the quarterbacks, and to the quicker developing plays, the pass rushers haven't been getting home.
The Bears have also employed an extra tackle at times, in Eben Britton, to aid in their pass protection. You would think that next season, in year two of Marc Trestman's offense, the Bears would like to be able to get away from the six man offensive line and have that 5th eligible receiver in the play for defenses to be wary of.
Two of Chicago's starting offensive linemen will be free agents after this season, center Roberto Garza and left guard Matt Slauson. I think Slauson has a chance at returning, but Garza, who will be 35 in March, may be allowed to move on. Ideally, you'd like little turnover on the o-line so they can build chemistry, but the Bears have to look to upgrade where they can.
Speaking of looking to upgrade, I'd expect the Bears to exhaust all options at right tackle. Rookie Jordan Mills won the right tackle job this preseason, but based on his play this year, he's not the clear cut answer. His technique is fine, his hands and feet are solid, so I think a good off season of strength and agility work, coupled with some extensive film study could have Mills stepping up his game in 2014. From the outside looking in, it seems he has the make-up and the want-to, to work on his game.
Let's take at look at where the team stands so far...
Sackwatch after 11 games
2010 - 41 (Martzfense)
2011 - 27 (Martzfense)
2012 - 35 (Mike Tice O)
2013 - 17 (Trestfense) *
Sack 17 - Fourth Quarter 2:13 Robert Quinn
Before I even get into breaking down this play, you have to check out the GIF.
The first player to move on the field was Rams defensive end Robert Quinn. He shows not only a quick first step, but incredible timing on Josh McCown's snap count. Chicago left tackle Jermon Bushrod had his hands full when Quinn wasn't getting off so quick, but with that jump, Bushrod didn't stand a chance.
Check out this picture to further illustrate just how good a jump Quinn had. He's already across the line of scrimmage and McCown hasn't received the shot gun snap.
Bushrod had probably the worst game of his seven year career, and Robert Quinn may have had one of his best. Check out this tweet.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>How good was Robert Quinn vs Chicago? If we took just that game's grade he would be <a href="https://twitter.com/PFF">@PFF</a>'s 6th ranked 4-3 DE on the year.</p>— Sam Monson (@PFF_Sam) <a href="https://twitter.com/PFF_Sam/statuses/405651395728400384">November 27, 2013</a></blockquote>
<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
That's just crazy.
Sticking with Pro Football Focus for a moment, Quinn graded out with a mindboggling +14.4 against Bushrod's -11.6. Up until this game, Bushrod had a +2.6 on the season. PFF also clocked the time it took for Quinn to get to McCown, and it was a remarkable 2.3 seconds.
I repeat, that's just crazy.
On the sack itself, Quinn just took the edge from Bushrod by hitting a textbook rip move, and dipping around the corner. Quinn showed great awareness not only on the strip, but by staying with the play to scoop and score.
There wasn't much that Bushrod could have done with the jump that Quinn had. By the time he got his hands on the Ram defensive end, Bushrod's shoulders were already perpendicular to the line of scrimmage.
Needless to say this sack is on Jermon Bushrod.
I do find it interesting that McCown made a point in the week leading up to the Rams game about having to vary his cadence, then the only sack the Bears allowed came on a defender timing his count.
Here's where we are on the season.
* Just for Kev, Happy Thanksgiving buddy!
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