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Chicago Bears Sackwatch 2014: Week 15 vs. New Orleans Saints

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I don't think anyone would have predicted that with two games remaining the Chicago Bears would be in striking distance of some Mike Martz levels of sackage.

Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

A week after holding the Dallas Cowboys sackless, the Chicago Bears give up a season high seven sacks to the New Orleans Saints.

Let's just jump right into it this week.

Sackwatch Cutler

Sackwatch after 14 games
2010 - 48 (Martzfense)
2011 - 42 (Martzfense)
2012 - 42 (Mike Tice O)
2013 - 24 (Trestman)*
2014 - 37 (Trestman)*

GIFs may take a few seconds to load and you may have to hover over it to get it started

Sack 31 - First quarter 5:26 David Hawthorne
There are three Saints to the right of center Roberto Garza and three Bears in position to block them. Right tackle Jordan Mills shows good patience in waiting for his man to come to him. My guess is it was Mills' responsibility to take the widest man with right guard Kyle Long taking the next man in. Since defensive end Cameron Jordan (#94) stayed outside with the blitzing linebacker looping around, Mills correctly stuck with Jordan.

This is where it gets tricky to me, because Kyle Long allows a blitzer to his inside, and usually this is a no-no. But Long must have been counting on running back Matt Forte to pick up the blitzing David Hawthorne (#57). Forte is actually in position to make the block, but he slides across the formation. This isn't the way I would coach it, but it appears to be their blocking scheme.

No matter how you slice this, I have to give the sack allowed to Forte. If he was assuming that Long was sticking with the linebacker over him, then surely Forte had to be cognizant of the linebacker lined out outside of Mills. For some reason Forte felt the two Bear offensive linemen would pick up the three Saint defenders.

Sack 32 - First quarter 4:44 Junior Galette
You may watch #93 Junior Galette beat left tackle Jermon Bushrod around the edge and assume Bushrod gave up this sack, but I wouldn't share that thought. This is one of those 3rd and 21 screen passes that Marc Trestman decided to dial up and the Saints were all over it. With a screen called, the Bears' offensive line is instructed to allow their guy to get upfield and that's exactly Bushrod does.

Look how Bushrod sets up. He takes a very short kick step, because he wants to make sure #94 goes to his outside. With the screen to the right, Bushrod has to make sure his man stays to the left and the short set up induces him upfield.

Jay Cutler may have felt with two Saints between him and Matt Forte, that throwing the ball into the ground near Forte's feet was too chancy. Maybe he felt that throwing it off to the right would bring an intentional grounding penalty. Regardless of Cutler's thought process, this sack is on him. Chuck it 2 or 3 yards to the right and save your team the loss of yards.

Sack 33 - Second quarter 11:12 David Hawthorne
When I watched this live, my first thought was the official scorekeeper was going to call it a run for 0 yards. But of course they give the Saints another sack. A sack for 0 yards...

This was a playaction on 3rd and 3 that had a chance if one Saint was slowed down. Someone made the decision to slide protection to the left and the 5 Chicago offensive linemen blocked their men perfectly, but the slide protection left #91 Kasim Edebali (highlighted) unblocked. It looks like tight end Martellus Bennett was to come underneath the formation to pick up Edebali, before sneaking out into the flat. Bennett's aim-point seemed off when he came across, he was looking inside as if he was unaware the Bears slid protection left. Matt Forte tries to come back after faking the hand-off, but him momentum going opposite proved too difficult to recover from.

The Saint that makes the actual sack, David Hawthorne once again, was being blocked by center Roberto Garza. While Garza doesn't use textbook technique on his man, the ball should have been out by the time he wiggles free and lucks into Cutler stepping up into the sack. I'm pinning this sack on Bennett.

Sack 34 - Third quarter 7:51 David Hawthorne
Hawthorne picks up his 3rd sack of the night thanks to some confusion. This blitz may look familiar if you were paying attention to the first GIF. It's the exact same defensive look the Saints gave Chicago's right side earlier and I still don't like how the Bears planned to pick it up. I would like to see left guard Ryan Groy staying with the man over him, leaving Matt Forte to pick up the scraps to the outside.

If you look at the two GIFs, Groy and Bushrod block this play exactly like Long and Mills blocked it earlier in the game. The scheme appears to dictate that the running back takes the inside linebacker with the guard and tackle fanning outside. Maybe with Groy sticking with Hawthorne a tick longer than expected, Forte thought he best block outside. Since I gave the earlier sack allowed to Forte, I'll have to stay consistent and give this one to him as well.

Sack 35 - Fourth quarter 7:53 Junior Gallette
Gallette has himself a multiple sack game against the Bears too. This one is fairly easy to decipher, he just pushed Bushrod straight back into Cutler. Gallette uses his hands well, an he gets under Bushrod's pad level. Bushrod throws his hands pretty aggressively, but I don't like the placement of his right hand. It ends up outside and atop Gallette's shoulder pad. He has no way to turn Gallette with that placement.

Sack 36 - Fourth quarter 7:07 Akiem Hicks
I think you guys have been reading Sackwatch long enough to know exactly what happened on this play.

Even if you aren't a regular reader, it's fairly obvious Garza is flat out beat by the Hicks bullrush.

Sack 37 - Fourth quarter 3:32 John Jenkins
Ryan Groy starts out OK on this play, but once Jenkins' starts to turn him, he stops moving his feet. Groy anchored well to stop the initial bullrush, but his next step is to give a little ground and move his feet to the right. Giving a little ground will prevent Jenkins from bending him back and it will allow him to re-anchor once he slides right.

What are your thoughts on the pass protection against New Orleans?

Here's where I lay the responsibility for each sack allowed after 14 games.

Matt Forte - 6
Jordan Mills - 5.5
Jermon Bushrod - 5.5
Brian de la Puente - 3.5
Michael Ola - 3.5
Sacks Happen - 3
Jay Cutler - 2.5
Matt Slauson - 2
Dante Rosario - 2
Martellus Bennett - 1
Roberto Garza - 1
Ryan Groy - 1
Eben Britton - .5

* TCO is no longer a thing.