The good news is, the Bears won the game. The bad news is, they only had 1 sack...and it was a defensive back that got it. We all knew that Khalil Mack was going to be critical to the Bears success defensively, I don’t think we ever imagined that it would be this stark of a difference however. In the 4 games with a healthy Mack, the Bears had 18 sacks and were on pace to break the NFL record. From the injury onward, 2 sacks in 3 games, and that simply isn’t getting it done.
The other good news is that I have no quarrels with Vic Fangio’s game planning this week. They played man coverage, let the outside linebackers rush the passer, and utilized the blitz effectively. Both Bryce Callahan and Sherrick McManis got some nice pressure, as did Akiem Hicks and Leonard Floyd. Outside of that though, nada. There wasn’t much pressure to choose from, so this will be another short Rush Report.
Week 8 vs the Jets
Sack 1 - Fourth quarter 13:35 (2nd & 13) - Bryce Callahan
The Bears only sack of the game came on a blitz (surprise, surprise). This wasn’t an all-out blitz, but a calculated 5-man pressure package with Callahan coming off the edge from the slot. All of the lineman and outside linebackers are flowing to their right to allow space for Callahan, who is a sure tackler in space. This was a very nice design from Fangio. Aaron Lynch keeps contain to the offense’s left side and Leonard Floyd flashes inside to take away a place for Sam Darnold to step up into. Callahan starts to bring him down and Eddie Goldman gets the assist with a cleanup in isle 14.
Pressure of the Week
Fourth quarter 5:45 (3rd & 13) - Leonard Floyd
Here is one of Fangio’s wrinkles that he employed multiple times on Sunday. We see Bilal Nichols lining up at the 4-3 defensive end spot, Eddie Goldman at the nose (1-technique), Aaron Lynch with his hand in the dirt at the other 4-3 end position, with Floyd outside of Lynch. Both Lynch/Floyd and Goldman/Nichols have a twist stunt on this play. Floyd looks to have a clean shot and wisely puts his hands up to bat down a pass, and forces Darnold outside. Lynch has a shot but gets chipped by the running back. Danny Trevathan has the running back in coverage, when he stays in to block, he chases Darnold to the sideline.
Here’s how I have the individual* Rush Report after week 7.
Khalil Mack - 4
Team Sacks - 3
Akiem Hicks - 2
Roquan Smith - 2
Roy Robertson-Harris - 1.5
Aaron Lynch - 1.5
Bryce Callahan - 1.5
Eddie Goldman - 1
Danny Trevathan - 1
Sherrick McManis - 1
SINO - 1
Bilal Nichols - 0.5
*These numbers do not reflect a players official statistics.