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Chicago Bears Sackwatch 2013: Week 15 vs. Cleveland Browns

With two games remaining in the 2013 season I can safely say that the Marc Trestman Chicago Bears offense will come in under the previous year's Sackwatch pace. The Bears would have to give up 21 sacks in the next two games to equal the 2012 total.

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Last year the Chicago Bears gave up four sacks to the Green Bay Packers, two of them to Clay Mathews, which prompted me to write this;

This is getting ridiculous. I don't think I'm going to put myself through a Sackwatch 2013, unless the Bears seriously upgrade their offensive line.

Bears GM Phil Emery went out and seriously upgraded the line with four new starters, and the Sackwatch is 18 sacks behind last season's pace. This leads me to a logical conclusion: Emery reads Windy City Gridiron, and he's a fan of the Sackwatch.

Let's take a look at the numbers right after the sweet Sackwatch logo provided by David Taylor...


Sackwatch after 14 games
2010 - 48
2011 - 42
2012 - 42
2013 - 24

The Bears allowed two sacks to the Cleveland Browns last Sunday, and both could have been avoided. Here's my breakdown.

Sack 23 - Third Quarter 8:20 Jabaal Sheard
Just last week we talked about what a quarterback was coached to do when a screen pass breaks down, and that is throw it in the dirt. The Cleveland Browns must have picked up something on film, because as soon as Jay Cutler turns towards Matt Forte, Paul Krueger (#99) turns and runs to the screen. Check out the GIF.

As the backside outside linebacker, Krueger was probably coached that if Jay turns to hand off for a run away from his side, that they may come back with a quick slip screen. The Browns figured that Krueger wouldn't be able to chase down Forte had he received the hand off, so they better use him to thwart a possible screen. Mission accomplished.

When Cutler saw that his screen was taken away, he should have threw the ball at his receivers feet. He had nowhere else to go with the ball, and even if he did manage to find a lingering eligible receiver, his offensive line was already down field blocking. This sack is on Jay for not throwing it away.

Sack 24 - Third Quarter 2:51 Julian Posey / Leon McFadden
The Bears came out in a shotgun, single back set with two receivers to either side. Leon McFadden (#29), the defensive back to the top of the GIF below comes immediately at the snap, and the bottom DB, Julian Posey (#38), appears to hesitate before blitzing. He either just got a bad jump on the snap, or he waited to see what Bears tight end Martellus Bennett was doing.

Sometimes a defender's rule is to blitz if the man he is responsible for stays in to block. With Bennett sticking and helping to pass block, Posey may have been instructed to attack. Check out the GIF.

Regardless of what was going on to Cutler's right, the blitz from his left should have prompted him to get the ball out quickly. Since McFadden blitzed, and he was lined up on the top WR Brandon Marshall, Cutler was probably expecting Marshall to be his hot read. He may have been waiting for Marshall to run to the sideline, but Marshall continues upfield before turning back to the inside, where the Cleveland defender was waiting.

What Cutler should have done, is hit the out-breaking route to the right, and throw to Earl Bennett. Earl chips inside before darting to the sideline, and he was wide open.

Jay also could have been looking for Matt Forte, who ran through the line and curled over the middle. Once Forte comes through the line, he's picked up by a Browns defensive tackle. That Cleveland DT initially rushed, but disengaged when Forte came through the B Gap.

Wherever Jay was looking, and whatever he was thinking, he obviously missed something, and this sack is also on him.

What were your thoughts on the two sacks the Bears allowed this week?

Sackwatch Totals after 14 Games

Sacks Happen - 6
Jay Cutler - 4

Josh McCown - 3.25
Jordan Mills - 2.25
Matt Slauson - 2
Matt Forte - 2
Jermon Bushrod - 2
Kyle Long - 1.25
Martellus Bennett - 1
Roberto Garza - .25