With four sacks to break down this week, I figured I better get right down to business.
Sackwatch after 3 games
2010 - 8 (Martzfense)
2011 - 14 (Martzfense)
2012 - 11 (Mike Tice O)
2013 - 3 (TCO)
2013 - 7 (TCO)
Sack 4 - Second quarter 1:34 David Harris
The credit for this sack should go to the Jets scheme as much as it goes to linebacker David Harris. Check out the GIF, then I'll explain what I mean.
New York comes out with seven men on the line of scrimmage. The Bears have their five offensive linemen, tight end Martellus Bennett to the left and running back Matt Forte ready to pass block to the right. So they have seven to block seven. By the Jets showing 4 threats to the Bears strong side (left) and three to the open side of the Bears' formation, it forced Chicago center Brian de la Puente and the Bears pass protection to make a decision. By de la Puente sliding to his left, it meant that Forte would need to pick up the blitzer to the right, leaving the late creeping blitz by David Harris unaccounted for.
The Bears were simply outnumbered, so this is the first sack I'm putting in the "Sacks Happen" category this year.
However the Bears would have decided to block this look, the Jets would have had a free rusher. The only thing that could have saved the play was if Jay Cutler had his receivers run something quick, like a slant. New York was bluffing and/or blitzing all night, so this was just a case where Jay guessed wrong.
Sack 5 - Third quarter 10:12 Demario Davis and Muhammad Wilkerson
This is another one that's tough to pin blame on without knowing specific responsibilities. But I'll give half of the blame to the two guys that seem to flub up the assignment. It appears as though right tackle Jordan Mills wants to pass his man off to the uncovered Kyle Long, so that he's free to take on the impending blitz from Demario Davis (56).
Long either misses the call or assumes that with Eben Britton in at tight end to help against an edge rusher to Mills' right, that he should slide to his A Gap. Either way, I don't like Long chasing #94 Damon Harrison. If the defensive tackle wants to loop all the way around, Long has to trust that a teammate will pick him up.
Now as for Mills... That was about as technically poor a pass off block that you will ever see. If he did call for Long to take his man, then there's no reason to step with his inside foot first. Mills has to trust the man to his inside to take Wilkerson (96) and just set up to take on the blitzing Davis. Physically passing his man off with his inside hand is OK, but Mills turns his body to get both hands on Wilkerson before the pass off. Once he turns his shoulders, he's no longer in position to cut off the blitz. Furthermore, he's off balance and is easily knocked on his keister.
Some may look at this play and blame Forte for not picking up the 315 pound Wilkerson, but that's just silly. There's no pass blocking scheme that leaves a free rushing defensive tackle for a running back. Forte's job is to make the play fake, then block the first white jersey he sees. It probably should have been linebacker Davis while Mills stuck with the big body.
Which gets me to thinking...
I know I was initially going to split the sack between Long and Mills, but on second thought, this one is all on the 2nd year right tackle. Mills has to be aware that the play-action is keeping Forte in to block, and that should have prevented him from passing his man off to the inside.
Sack 6 - Third quarter 4:52 Sheldon Richardson
You may look at the GIF below and think this one's clearly on Bears left tackle Jermon Bushrod. He gives up too much ground on the bull rush, then gives Sheldon Richardson an inside lane to his QB. Since this was a straight drop back by Cutler, Bushrod should have tried to entice his man to the outside. It was bad technique by the Bears' left tackle.
But take a look at RT Jordan Mills. He was completely turned around by the spin move from Jason Babin (58). His pressure causes Cutler to step up into the sack. I have to split the blame on this one between the two Bear tackles.
Sack 7 - Fourth quarter 3:31 Muhammad Wilkerson
As is often the case, initial pressure leads a quarterback to move off his spot, which allows a defensive teammate to get the glory of the sack. In this case center Brian de la Puente allows Sheldon Richardson to shoot his left A Gap far too easily. The man who picks up the sack doesn't even rush the passer at first. Wilkerson drops off the line to either spy the QB or to play a short zone, then once he sees Cutler step up, he springs into action to get a cheap sack. Since the pass pro was solid by everyone on this play expect the center; he's where I lay blame for this sack.
Here's who I have responsible for all seven of the sacks allowed by the Bears so far.
Jordan Mills - 2.5
Dante Rosario - 1
Brian de la Puente - 1
Michael Ola - 1
Sacks Happen - 1
Jermon Bushrod - .5
What are your thoughts on the pass protection through three games?