Sometimes a game just gets out of hand, and on Sunday Night against the Philadelphia Eagles, things got out of hand for the Chicago Bears. Before the Bears could even blink, they were down by 21 points. Even though it was only the first quarter, you'd like to think a team would stick with the gameplan. But with the way the Eagles' offense can pile on points, Marc Trestman felt he had to keep pace.
This played right into Philadelphia's hands, and they brought heat from different angles all night long. Their defensive linemen were looking to pass rush for most of the game, and it put Chicago's pass protection in a bind.
They allowed five sacks, and it was probably their worst performance on the year.
Here's where the Bears stand with just one game to go.
Sackwatch after 15 games
2010 - 50
2011 - 42
2012 - 43
2013 - 29
Those five sacks, combined with numerous hits and hurries later, and the Bears were ready to throw the game film in the trash. Hopefully that was just pretense, and the coaches learned something from the 51-11 butt-kicking. I know I did, here's the breakdown of all five sacks the Bears allowed
Sack 25 - First Quarter 13:30 Trent Cole
The Eagles schemed their way to their first sack, by showing seven players as pass rush threats. Chicago had to account for the extra blitzers, so they squeezed their protection inside. With both A Gaps threatened, the left side of the Bears o-line had to check inside first, leaving Philadelphia outside linebacker Trent Cole a free rush off Chicago's left side.
Matt Forte had to come across the formation to pick up the 6'3" 270 pound Cole, who previously played as a 4-3 defensive end. I've said it before, but asking a back to block a big is usually a bad idea. Forte turned into Cole with his right shoulder, and didn't even slow him up. Had he forced Cole to work inside under the block by leading with his left shoulder, or had he hit him square up, he could have bought Jay Cutler a little time. Then again Cole could have just powered his way through any block.
Either way this sack is on Forte, even though I don't like the idea of him being left one on one with the dangerous Cole. Check out the GIF.
Sack 2 - Second Quarter 6:41 Trent Cole
It was 1st and 10, and Cole does it again, but this sack was set up by the initial pressure up the middle. Check out Bears right guard Kyle Long in this GIF, he appears to forget his assignment.
Long stands up, looks at Eagle defensive lineman Cedric Thornton, then checks the A Gap, and allows Thornton to fly right through the B Gap. There was no blitzer showing at the A Gap before the snap like in the previous sack, so I have no idea what Long was doing.
After the play, Long goes straight to his teammate right tackle Jordan Mills to discuss the sack. I'll assume that Long felt Mills would block down, but Mills had an edge rusher to be concerned with.
Left tackle Jermon Bushrod was responsible for Cole, and it looked as though he was setting up push him past the pocket. But the inside pressure caused Jay Cutler to jump back, right into Cole. This is one of those sacks that is hard to pin on one guy, because it was Long that allowed the pressure that caused the sack, but it was Bushrod that didn't push his man past.
The free rushing d-lineman probably confused Cutler, but he was nimble enough to avoid it. Cole did get around Bushrod, so I feel like I can't let him completely off the hook, so I'll go a half a sack allowed for both Long and Bushrod.
One more thing on this GIF, check out Bears center Roberto Garza who manhandles his guy, and throws him to the ground.
Sack 27 - Second Quarter 6:01 Mychal Kendricks
Yes, this sack was on the play immediately following that last sack. This was a 2nd and 19, and Cutler had a clean pocket until Mychal Kendricks blitzed up the gut. You may look at the GIF and wonder why Chicago left guard Matt Slauson didn't pick up the blitzer, but that's probably what the Bears had built into the scheme.
Kendricks did a good job in timing his blitz and Slauson already committed to check the B Gap. Slauson did this in case the Eagles brought someone off the edge, he would have to pick up his left tackle's man.
As to the sack itself, this one is also on Matt Forte. Forte did a good job making contact but he allowed Kendricks to slip his block too easily. Much like the offensive lineman have to use their hands, so do the backs. Forte just hits with his shoulder, but if he threw his hands into his man, he'd be able to better sustain his block.
Sack 28 - Third Quarter 6:23 Mychal Kendricks
Kendricks picks up his 2nd sack on the night, by going right around a confused Jordan Mills. We talk a lot about the Pro Football Focus grades here on WCG, and this is one of those plays that probably garnered a -2 from those guys. Mills not only allowed his first guy to spin inside without staying with the block, but he then allows Kendricks to blitz around the edge without making much of an effort to stop him.
If I had to guess, I'd say Mills knew he had help with Chicago lining up tight end Martellus Bennett in the backfield, but he probably didn't realize Bennett had to help on the spinning Connor Barwin. This sack is on the rookie Mills.
Cris Collinsworth on the SNF broadcast mentioned that Cutler held onto the ball too long, and at 3.3 seconds snap to sack, he probably did. At this point in the game however (33-3 in the 3rd quarter), a QB will try and hold the ball to make a play. Some may put this on Jay, but I just can't overlook the poor play from Mills.
Be sure to check out what Bennett does to Barwin, he puts him in the turf.
Sack 29 - Third Quarter 3:29 Trent Cole
The hat trick, the trifecta, the Triple Lindy, or what ever you want to call Cole's third sack of the night, it was an absolutely brutal capper to the Bears evening.
Cole worked his way back around to the inside after starting off over left tackle Jermon Bushrod. It's near impossible to ask Bushrod to stay with his man and fight through all the bodies. So I won't pin this on him.
Cutler holds the ball nearly 3.5 seconds before Cole takes him down, but it was good coverage by the Eagles so I won't give this one to Cutler either. The Eagles showed a double A Gap blitz again, but they dropped one linebacker back on the snap. Cutler looked to hit a shallow crossing route, but Philly took it away.
Good coverage, and a tenacious pass rush, leads me to slap this one in the Sacks Happen category.
You check out the GIF and tell me what you think.
Here's a look at my running tally with only one week to go.
Sackwatch Totals after 15 Games
Sacks Happen - 7
Jay Cutler - 4
Matt Forte - 4
Josh McCown - 3.25
Jordan Mills - 3.25
Jermon Bushrod - 2.5
Matt Slauson - 2
Kyle Long - 1.75
Martellus Bennett - 1
Roberto Garza - .25
What are your thoughts on the Sackwatch this week?