I really thought the Chicago Bears had turned a corner. That win on Halloween night sucked me in and made me believe in the 2016 Bears.
Sure it was only their 2nd win of the season to finish the first half at 2-6, but with a slate of “winnable” games coming up, and a number of injured players returning, I thought this team would show some progress.
Four sacks allowed and seven quarterback hits by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers according to the official NFL statistician and Pro Football Focus had the Bucs down for 10 hurries in their 36-10 win.
I really do enjoy breaking down these plays, but sometimes some games just leave me feeling ill as I go over these sacks.
OK, let’s get down to it...
Sackwatch after 9 games
2010 - 34 Martz
2011 - 23 Martz
2012 - 28 Tice
2013 - 14 Trestman
2014 - 24 Trestman
2015 - 16 Gase
2016 - 18 Loggains
Sack 15 - First Quarter 8:42 - Clinton McDonald
On this play center Cody Whitehair’s man just nails Jay Cutler, but this sack isn’t on Whitehair. Watch the play develop towards the top of the GIF, the Bears were setting up a slip screen to Alshon Jeffery.
Tampa’s left defensive end read the play and stopped directly in the passing lane. Cutler has to drill the ball on a quick hitting play like this and with no lane, he had to eat the sack. Chalk this one up to a good play by the Bucs and it goes in the Sacks Happen category.
If I wanted to nitpick Whitehair at all, I’d say he gave a little too much ground before releasing McDonald, but had the LDE not read the play, Cutler rifles the ball.
Sack 16 - Second Quarter 13:53 - Noah Spence
These types of turnovers really piss me off. The Bears drive down to the redzone, they have at the very least a chip shot field try, and Cutler gets stripped. Cutler felt the pressure, that’s why he left the pocket in the first place, so either take off or be safer with the ball.
As for the play itself, why is the quarterback taking such a deep drop when they are on the 4 yard line? He’s already in shotgun, which sets him up where a 3 step drop would take him, but then he drops even further making it akin to a 7 step drop. Jay Cutler sets up to throw a full 9 yards from the line of scrimmage and that seems odd to me.
If offensive coordinator Dowell Loggians called a play that takes that kind of time to develop while in the red zone, I wish someone would have asked him why. If Cutler dropped deeper than he should have, I wish someone would have asked him why.
The more I look at the GIF, the more it hurts my brain.
The Buccaneers brought 7 on the play and both Bears’ tackles pushed their defenders past where you would think a QB would set up on a red zone play. Both LT Charles Leno and RT Bobby Massie, probably gave up the edge a little quicker than I’m sure they would have liked to, but I’m not going to pin the sack on them.
Chicago’s interior does a nice job, with running back Jeremy Langford picking the first linebacker through, but the delayed blitzer kind of spooks Jay to his left. Cutler stepped up, then was flushed by the unblocked man, and even though this play design leaves me scratching my head, I’m pinning the sack on Cutler because the strip portion of the strip/sack was his fault and the ball probably should have been out quicker.
Sack 17 - Third Quarter 12:28 - Robert Ayers and Gerald McCoy
McCoy, who is one of the better defensive tackles in football, easily beats Bears’ RG Ted Larsen on this play. Larsen catches McCoy, then doesn’t bother to move his feet and McCoy just keeps working through the B-Gap.
Ayers, who is lined up as their right DT, stunts back to Tampa’s left around the 2 A-Gap linebacker blitzers. With Langford having to step up and pick up the blitz, it left an open lane for Ayers to shoot through.
This was a nice play design and execution by the Buccaneers, but if Larsen holds up better, Cutler may have been able to escape the Ayers stunt. This one is on Ted.
Sack 18 - Third Quarter :58 - Robert Ayers
Jay Cutler has to show better awareness while standing in his own end zone. He drops back, sets up, has time to scan the field, then takes off to to his right.
Ayers does beat LG Josh Sitton a little too easily, but Sitton did push him past the pocket and Cutler’s internal clock should have alerted him to do something smart with the ball. Cutler does get a little late pressure from his right as back up RT Mike Adams slips while blocking his man, but regardless, this sack is another on Jay.
Here’s how I have the individual Sackwatch after nine games.
Jay Cutler - 5
Sacks Happen - 3
Brian Hoyer - 2
Bobbie Massie - 2
Charles Leno - 2
Cody Whitehair - 1.5
Logan Paulsen - 1
Ted Larsen - 1
Jeremy Langford - .5
What are your thoughts this week?