For the second straight week, the Bears were the favorites. This time, the Arizona Cardinals were the underdog, and at home no less. It wasn’t pretty, but the pass rush has continued to impress. The Bears, after notching 4 more sacks on Sunday, are leading the NFL with 14 total. At their current pace, the Bears would end up with either 74 or 75 sacks, which would set a new NFL record that is currently held by...the 1984 Bears. Can they possibly keep this up? Let’s hope so!
Let’s get to the fun, shall we?
Week 3 at the Cardinals
Sack 1 - Second quarter 1:42 (3rd & 12) - Akiem Hicks
Akiem Hicks might have ended up with the sack here, but this was a collective effort. The first thing to watch is Khalil Mack. He is triple-teamed on this play, uses his bull rush, and collapses the right side of the offensive line. In addition to Mack, Leonard Floyd beats his man with a swim move but ends up stumbling while off-balance. He recovers in time to help flush Sam Bradford right into the waiting arms of Hicks. It’s hard to tell if this was a stunt or if Hicks just saw an opening but a job well done for cleaning this up and punching the ball out. I am going to notch this as a Team Sack.
Sack 2 - Second quarter 0:45 (3rd & 8) - Khalil Mack
Mack is just a human wrecking ball. Here he sees yet another double-team. Mack sets up right tackle D.J. Humphries outside, while right guard Mike Iupati has Eddie Goldman on the inside. After the initial setup, Mack’s sheer speed to burst under Humphries, just ruins Iupati’s day by slamming him into center Mason Cole, then able to still bring down Bradford is beyond what any mortal human should be able to do. This is truly an elite play!
Sack 3 - Fourth quarter 11:33 (2nd & 8) - Khalil Mack
This is the first sack of Mack’s that hasn’t been him just whipping the guy(s) across from him. Aaron Lynch does a great job of bending the edge opposite of Mack. Hicks has a nice bull rush which keeps Bradford to the left side where Roy Robertson-Harris is stalemated with a double-team. Mack disengages from the running back quickly and follows the play, he punches at the ball as he brings down Bradford to cause his 3rd strip-sack of the season. Sorry Khalil, this is going in the Team Sacks category.
Sack 4 - Fourth quarter 0:05 (1st & 10) - Sherrick McManis
I want to give this sack to Sherrick McManis so bad, but he isn’t the first to get there, and should have been the guy that helps brings down rookie Josh Rosen. This is an as all-out of a blitz as Vic Fangio calls, sending 6 and dropping 5 in coverage. McManis actually initially misses the spot where Rosen was as he was forced to step up in the pocket from his, Floyd’s, and Danny Trevathan’s rush. This should have been Trevathan’s sack but he misses. McManis, Bryce Callahan, and Mack stay with the play and McManis finally wrestles him down with a slight assist by Mack. Ah, screw it, I’m giving it to McManis!
Pressure of the Week
Fourth quarter 1:16 (4th & 5) - Roy Robertson-Harris
Who says that rushing the passer doesn’t lead to interceptions? Certainly not this guy! The credit for this hurry officially goes to RRH but I think it should be halved with Lynch, who had another solid game. Lynch beats right tackle Humphries with an outside dip/rip move. RRH is on a tackle twist move where he crosses the face of the center Cole and gets in Rosen’s face quickly. The combination of Lynch and RRH leads to the rushed throw and the Callahan interception to virtually seal the game.
How about a HUGE shoutout to Danger Will Robinson (aka Whiskey Ranger) for the Rush Report logo!?!?
Here’s how I have the individual* Rush Report after week 1.
Khalil Mack - 3
Team Sacks - 3
Akiem Hicks - 1
Roy Robertson-Harris - 1
Roquan Smith - 1
Eddie Goldman - 1
Danny Trevathan - 1
Sherrick McManis - 1
SINO - 1
Aaron Lynch - 0.5
Bryce Callahan - 0.5
*These numbers do not reflect a players official statistics.