The Chicago Bears finally had their starting five back on the offensive line for the first time since week one, but it didn't matter as they allowed three more sacks to the Miami Dolphins which brings the 2014 Sackwatch up to...
Sackwatch after 7 games
2010 - 31 (Martzfense)
2011 - 21 (Martzfense)
2012 -25 (Mike Tice O)
2013 -11 (TCO)
2014 - 17 (TCO)
On the season the Bears are tied with the Green Bay Packers for 9th with 17 sacks allowed, but their overall sack percentage of 6.0% is 15th. But before you think that's a good thing, it's still a higher rate than the Bears allowed in 2013, when their sack percentage was a 4th best 4.9%. So not only are the Bears allowing more sacks this year, but they are doing so at a higher rate.
No wonder Jay is back to seeing "ghosts" when he drops back.
Sack 15 - First quarter 3:18 Derrick Shelby
This is a frustrating sack allowed, because all Jermon Bushrod had to do was just lay on Shelby when he falls to the ground. Bushrod was on an island, meaning Shelby was solely his responsibility, so selling out and just plopping down on Shelby would have gotten the job done.
The protection was good everywhere else, as the 'Fins only rushed three. Tight end Martellus Bennett chipped on Miami defensive end Cameron Wake to help out right tackle Jordan Mills and wide out Brandon Marshall got a hand on Shelby to help Bushrod. Cutler probably could have dumped the ball off short, but on a 3rd and 16 he was looking for a deeper route.
Sack 16 - Second quarter 9:32 Louis Delmas
This wasn't the return that Bushrod was hoping to have. Even though Cutler was able to escape the pressure Bushrod allowed, I'm still giving this sack to the Bears' left tackle. He appears to be concerned with the down lineman to his inside gap, but with the way Miami lined up, and with the Bears committing to leave tight end Martellus Bennett in to pass protect on Bushrod's left, Jermon should have been focusing on the first blitzing threat to his outside.
It should have been Bennett taking the outside blitz (which he did), Bushrod takes the next man in (which he whiffed on) and left guard Matt Slauson takes the third man in (which he did).
Running back Matt Forte stayed in to help, but the pressure leaked so fast, that it immediately spooked Cutler. Garza gives up too much ground, but he turned his man to keep the integrity of the pocket intact. Right guard Kyle Long chased his man and mirrored him.
It was actually Bennett's man that picked up the sack, but he does a good job of pushing him past the pocket. Louis Delmas just hustles once Cutler is flustered.
Sack 17 - Fourth quarter 14:32 Cameron Wake
I was surprised it took Wake til the 4th quarter to pick up a sack. He's such a good speed rusher, but he has enough strength and technique to mix up his attack. Right tackle Jordan Mills simply allows Wake to get into his body. When I graded Chicago's starting offensive line earlier this week I noticed that Mills was fine when he was able to thrust his hands out and lock onto a defender. He doesn't do that here.
If you look at the first GIF above, Mills is able to keep Wake at bay with his hands. In the 2nd GIF, even though Wake drops into coverage, Mills is still able to get quickly get his hands up and onto his man. On this sack Mills "catches" Wake instead of delivering a blow, then once Wake is inside his arms he just keeps working around the edge and rips free to chase down Cutler.
Here's how I have the Sackwatch after seven games.
Jordan Mills - 4.5
Brian de la Puente - 2.5
Jermon Bushrod - 2.5
Matt Slauson - 2
Michael Ola - 2
Sacks Happen - 2
Dante Rosario - 1
Eben Britton - .5
Last season I only had Mills responsible for 3.25 sacks and Bushrod responsible for 2.5. This season Chicago tackles Mills (4.5), Bushrod (2.5) and Ola (1 while at LT) have already given up 8.
What are your thoughts on the pass protection so far through 7 games?