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Chicago Bears Sackwatch 2015: Week 3 vs Seattle Seahawks

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Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

If the Chicago Bears keep up their allow-two-a-week sack pace, they'll still come in with a lower number than the Mike Martz years (56 sacks in 2010 and 49 in 2011) and lower than Mike Tice's lone year calling plays (45 in 2012). They'd even be lower than last season when they allowed 41 sacks in the 2nd year of Marc Trestman's offense.

So even though it seems bad at 6 sacks allowed so far, it could be worse.

Sackwatch Cutler

Sackwatch after 3 games
2010 - 8 (Martz)
2011 - 14 (Martz)
2012 - 11 (Tice)
2013 - 3 (Trestman)
2014 - 7 (Trestman)
2015 - 6 (Gase)

Sack 5 - Third Quarter 13:38 Bruce Irvin and Bobby Wagner
I'm starting to wonder if left tackle Jermon Bushrod is done. When the Bears signed him in free agency, it was because they really, REALLY, needed a professional left tackle. Sure the Bears overpaid, but you usually do when trying to fill a need in free agency. Bushrod was ok his first year in Chicago, but then last year he started to miss games due to injury.

This year he's battled a back issue all year long and I think his play is suffering from it. Through the first two games we've seen him struggle against the bullrush, often times getting stood straight up. He's just not able not able to anchor and he's getting blown backwards much to quickly. But on this sack Bushrod isn't beat with power...

On this sack Bushrod has no chance agaisnt the speed rush of Bruce Irvin. He's slow moving his feet, he tries to lunge because he realizes he doesn't have the quickness to stay in front of Irvin, and once his punch doesn't have any affect, there's nothing he can do to stop his man.

The other issue on this play was running back Matt Forte being a little indecisive in picking up the blitzing Bobby Wagner. Forte lets Wagner go when he spies a stunting Seahawk linebacker looping back over from the left side. Forte should have stayed on Wagner and right guard Vladimir Ducasse should have picked up the stunting LB. If Forte stays on Wagner, it might have been just enough time for quarterback Jimmy Clausen to step up to avoid the edge rush.

Ducasse properly passes the defensive tackle off to his center Will Montgomery, but Ducasse has to show better awareness in recognizing the stunt. If a guy goes away from you, you can usually assume someone will be coming back towards you.

Even though Ducasse was a little lost, this sack allowed is split between Bushrod and Forte.

Before I move on to the 2nd sack, I want to share a couple clips of Cleveland Browns' tackle Joe Thomas from last week. Not only because he's one of the best to ever play left tackle in the history of the NFL, but also because he's going against two players that the Bears will face this Sunday, Khalil Mack and Aldon Smith of the Oakland Raiders.

Against Smith, Thomas has quick enough feet to still remain cognizant of his inside gap, then he has the punch and strength to turn Smith and drive him into the ground. It's a beautiful thing...

Here against Mack, watch his feet, his focus, his punch and his anchor. Simply beautiful technique.

The Bears haven't had a left tackle capable of doing this in about 30 years.

But back to the Sackwatch...

Sack 6 - Fourth Quarter 5:42 Cliff Avril
Before I get into the sack, take a peek at left tackle Charles Leno Jr., who was filling in for Bushrod after his concussion. Leno has pretty quick feet, a good punch to keep Irvin at bay, he doesn't lunge enough to get himself off balance, and he pushes Irvin past the pocket.

During preseason I thought Leno was better at left tackle than he was at right tackle. And that makes sense, because he spent most of his time on the left side during OTAs and training camp.

He still has to clean up some sloppiness, but I actually feel better about him starting at left tackle this week, than using a less than 100% Bushrod.

But as for the sack...

Kyle Long got away with about three holds on this play. I think he's trying to compensate for the club on his right hand by taking away the outside edge rush. Since he can't grab with his outside hand, he's forced to cut off the edge with his movement. Seattle DE Cliff Avril probably felt Long getting too vertical on his set, so he dipped back inside. Once Avril got Long to turn his shoulders, it was over.

A quick note on Long's play at tackle so far through three games. He's getting better, but his technique is still sloppy. He's still winning one on one matchups with athleticism. Once his right hand is healed, he can start winning with some strength, then as his technique improves, he'll start winning that way.

He'll probably just start to come into his own as a right tackle, just in time to be moved to the left side...

Here's how I have the Sackwatch after 3 games.

Kyle Long - 3*
Vlad Ducasse - 1
Jermon Bushrod - 1
Matt Forte - .5
Jay Cutler - .5

* Through his first two years as a right guard, I had Kyle Long responsible for allowing 1.75 sacks as a rookie and none last year.