Jay Cutler didn’t come back under the best circumstances, facing one of the better defenses in the NFL, but he and the Chicago Bears managed to pull out the 20-10 win. Chicago’s offensive line was down two starters, so coordinator Dowell Loggains came up with a brilliant gameplan to help out his offense and the players executed it to near perfection.
The pass protection wasn’t as clean as previous weeks, but Cutler has an ability to slip around in the pocket, every so slightly, and avoid the pressure. Officially, the Vikings got to Cutler for one sack and 6 quarterback hits, but unofficially, Pro Football Focus had Cutler “pressured on 42.4 percent of his throws, the sixth-highest rate among QBs in Week 8.”
Considering the Bears were without Pro Bowlers Josh Sitton and Kyle Long, and I’d say they did a good enough job.
Sackwatch after 8 games
2010 - 32 Martz
2011 - 21 Martz
2012 - 28 Tice
2013 - 12 Trestman
2014 - 20 Trestman
2015 - 14 Gase
2016 - 14 Loggains
Sack 14 - Third Quarter 4:16 - Everson Griffen
Jailbreak! If Griffen didn’t get to the quarterback first, there were two other Vikings that were ready to pounce on Jay Cutler. And since Griffen got home first, this sack allowed belongs to left tackle Charles Leno.
It was just a speed rush that Leno didn’t get enough depth for, but Griffen has developed into such a good pass rusher with moves and counter moves, Leno possibly didn’t want to sell out to thwart the speed rush. Griffen uses nice technique with his hands by popping Leno’s left arm with his right hand, then ripping under with his left arm, but Griffen didn’t even need to hand fight on this play.
Take a peek in at Bears left guard Eric Kush, he’s beaten with a rip to the inside by Viking defensive tackle Linval Joseph. Kush adsorbed the initial hit, but then allowed Joseph to get below his pad level and work to the inside.
Center Cody Whitehair seemed to sense the delayed blitz coming so he was waiting for right guard Ted Larsen to pass his man off to the left. Larsen let his man get too far into his chest and didn’t have enough leverage to pass the DT off to the inside until it was too late.
Minnesota sent 2 linebackers into Chicago’s right B gap, with the first being picked up by the Bears tailback, but the 2nd was free.
Before we move on to where we stand after 8 games, take a look at right tackle Bobbie Massie. Good feet, good hands, good pass block. After struggling earlier this season, Massie has really settled down.
Here’s how I have the individual Sackwatch after eight games.
Jay Cutler - 3
Brian Hoyer - 2
Sacks Happen - 2
Bobbie Massie - 2
Charles Leno - 2
Cody Whitehair - 1.5
Logan Paulsen - 1
Jeremy Langford - .5
What are your thoughts this week?