The Chicago Bears may be struggling to pick up wins, but at least their pass protection is performing at a respectable level. Right tackle Bobbie Massie, who struggled against the Texans and Eagles, seems to have settled into a groove. He’s not Jimbo Covert, but he’s not Frank Omiyale either.
Rookie center Cody Whitehair’s awareness on stunts has grown, and his technique is starting to look more like an interior player rather than a tackle (like he was in college).
Even last week without guards Josh Sitton, who missed the whole game, and Kyle Long, who missed more than half the game, the Bears only allowed one quarterback sack and 5 quarterback hits.
The Bears are on a similar pace to last season, and they have a shot to hit the Sackwatch low of 2013. That was the quick strike Marc Trestman offense when the Bears finished tied for 4th fewest sacks allowed in the NFL.
Here’s the full list.
Sackwatch after 7 games
2010 - 31 Martz
2011 - 21 Martz
2012 - 25 Tice
2013 -11 Trestman
2014 - 17 Trestman
2015 - 13 Gase
2016 - 13 Loggains
For a little more perspective on the Bears’ sacks allowed through the years, the 2016 Indianapolis Colts are thought to have the absolute worst pass protection this season, and they are sitting at 25 allowed through 7 games. That’s still 6 off the Mike Martz coordinated pace of 2010.
Sack 13 - Third Quarter 6:33 - Nick Perry
This play was originally ruled an incomplete pass by Matt Barkley, but upon further review, it was changed to a sack. And rightfully so.
Barkley’s knee was down before he chucked the ball away, and it was a very smart play by Green Bay’s Nick Perry to get the sack. Chicago tries to run a bootleg off the outside zone fake to the left, but Perry stays home on the backside.
A couple weeks ago you may remember the Bears and QB Brian Hoyer having some success against the Detroit Lions with the bootleg. It was working that day because the Lions weren’t as disciplined on the backside as the Packers were on Thursday night. When the backside contain, either a defensive end or outside linebacker depending on the defensive front, crashes down to chase the running back, then the bootlegs are more likely to be successful. But when the backside contain, in this instance #53 Nick Perry, stays home, he’s able to diagnose the play-fake in front of him and attack the quarterback.
If Barkley was a little faster, he may have been able to outrun Perry, but Perry was a 4.64 forty guy coming out of USC in 2012, and Barkley was more of a 5.0 forty guy at his 2013 USC pro day.
I’m not going to fault Barkley for Perry making a good play, nor can I fault Chicago’s pass protection because Perry is supposed to be left unblocked. This sack is just one of those sacks that happen.
Here’s how I have the individual Sackwatch after seven games.
Jay Cutler - 3
Brian Hoyer - 2
Sacks Happen - 2
Bobbie Massie - 2
Cody Whitehair - 1.5
Logan Paulsen - 1
Charles Leno - 1
Jeremy Langford - .5
What are your thoughts this week?