At least Sunday's game wasn't as bad as last year's week 16 contest against the Philadelphia Eagles. You remember that one don't you? The Chicago Bears allowed five sacks in what was their worst performance of the season, a 54-11 prime time loss.
The Bears only allowed two sacks to the Detroit Lions after giving up three in their earlier game. but both sacks came against the guy that they should have been focused on stopping. Here's where we are with just one game to go.
Sackwatch after 15 games
2010 - 50
2011 - 42
2012 - 43
2013 - 29
2014 - 39
Sack 38 - Third quarter 4:58 Ndamukong Suh
The Chicago Bears were missing pro bowl right guard Kyle Long for the first time all season and they sure could have used him. He was drafted, in part, to battle Detroit pro bowl defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, so his absence really hurt this week. Long's replacement, Michael Ola, has a tough enough match-up as it is, but when he decides to completely pass on Suh, it makes things really tough.
With an extra blocker, Eben Britton who is in the game next to right tackle Jordan Mills, and no blitzing threat to Ola's A or B gap, there's no reason for Ola to pass off Suh. Mills and Britton can handle the two Lion defenders on Chicago's right side, leaving Ola to handle Suh one on one. Ola made a mistake so this sack is on him.
Sack 39 - Fourth quarter 6:22 Ndamukong Suh
Asking undrafted rookie Michael Ola to block Suh one on one is just asking for trouble. Then again, the Bears have undrafted rookie Ryan Groy at left guard so it's not like they have a high-level talent at either position. With that being said, I'd like to see center Roberto Garza help against the All Pro defensive tackle Suh, as opposed to turning to his left. I'm not sure if it was his call, Clausen's call or the coaches' call, but regardless, it was the wrong call.
The blame for this sack is a bit difficult to assign. Ola was manhandled by Suh, but he still manages to stay in front of the big defensive tackle. Right tackle Jordan Mills is completely burned by a perfectly timed spin move. The spin has troubled Mills all season long. On this particular instance, Mills overextends and gets off balance as #93 George Johnson spins to the inside. Mills has to keep a straight back and slide in when Johnson spins.
The other place I could lay blame is on quarterback Jimmy Clausen. Part of the timing of the West Coast Offense dictates that when you finish your drop, it's plant the back foot then throw. Watch Clausen get to the top of his drop, but with no one open, he begins to work up the pocket. Clausen has his eyes down field as he steps up, but he doesn't feel he has a window to throw the ball.
So to recap; I didn't like the scheme of Garza helping Groy, Ola gives up too much ground against the bullrush, Mills is embarrassed by the spin, and Clausen doesn't take the opportunity to throw the ball away as he works up the pocket. I was curious where some others placed blame for this sack, so I checked the Tribune's Brad Biggs and Pro Football Focus. Both pinned this sack on Clausen and I agree to a point, but I can't give Clausen all the blame on this one.
Even though the ball didn't technically come out on time, Mills allows his man to pressure Clausen about 2 seconds after the ball is snapped. Clausen evaded the pressure and he had time to throw it away, but Mills' man had a hand in Clausen having to step up into Suh's sack. I'm going half a sack allowed to Clausen and half to Mills.
Here's where I lay the responsibility for each sack allowed after 15 games.
Matt Forte - 6
Jordan Mills - 6
Jermon Bushrod - 5.5
Michael Ola - 4.5
Brian de la Puente - 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
Jimmy Clausen - .5