Last night the Chicago Bears sent out the above Tweet.
They want us to predict how many sacks the team will have in 2018.
Last year the Bears had 42, which was tied for seventh most in the NFL. In 2016, they were 12th with 39, and in 2015 Vic Fangio’s defense had 25, which was 22nd.
So as you can see they are trending in the right direction, but with as much as I hope they can increase their sack totals, I’d be fine if they just got to the quarterback on a more consistent basis.
Years ago, Greg Blache, who was the Bears defensive coordinator from 1999 to 2003, famously made a comment that sacks were overrated. While many people ripped him for his remarks, the gist of what he said holds true.
While sacks are the sexiest play a defense can make, those pressures, hurries, and quarterback hits are just as important. They lead to rushed decisions from the QB. They speed up his internal clock, and they get him off rhythm.
Chicago’s pass rush is a concern by many heading into the 2018 season, but last night our guy, Andrew Link, fired off a really interesting twitter thread about this very subject and I’ll share it right here.
I have always been of the belief that a football team is synergistic. What I mean by that is the offense helps the defense and, in turn, the defense helps the offense. Over the course of my life, the defense has held up its end of the bargain, but the offense...not so much...— Andrew Link (@BearsLink82) June 19, 2018
The #Bears defense tied for 7th in the NFL with 42 sacks. Obviously this doesn't include pressure, but sacks are still important. With questions on the front-7 heading into next season, I am not sure that a better offense doesn't help bridge the gap...— Andrew Link (@BearsLink82) June 19, 2018
Consider that the #Bears offense was dead last in the NFL in passing on first down, when obvious passing situations were taken out of the equation. This means they were predictable, and predictably, they put themselves in a lot of poor situations...— Andrew Link (@BearsLink82) June 19, 2018
Because of this, the #Bears failed to score points, coming in at a measly 16.5 PPG or 29th out of 32 teams. Pathetic. Since they were 5-11 and weren't scoring, they weren't forcing obvious passing situations on their opponents. This should change heading into 2018...— Andrew Link (@BearsLink82) June 19, 2018
I would say there absolutely is a correlation between scoring and sacks. The #Chiefs and #Bears are the obvious outliers in this, but the rest of the league tends to keep to form on this. If the #Bears offense is much improved, I think the pass rush will be just fine.— Andrew Link (@BearsLink82) June 19, 2018
For the record, I’ll predict the Bears will have 43 sacks in 2018.
How many do you think they’ll have?