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Chicago Bears Sackwatch 2019: Week 10 vs. the Detroit Lions

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We break down all five sacks allowed by the Bears right here...

NFL: Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

In looking back at last years Sackwatch for the current numbers, I realized just how poorly things are going this year for the Chicago Bears, or more importantly, quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. Through 9 games a year ago, Trubisky was one of the least sacked QBs in the NFL, and while Chicago’s pass protection has taken a step back, Trubisky’s pocket awareness has regressed as well.

It’s not like he’s feeling pressure that isn’t there — if that was the case that would be easily put on the leaky pass pro — but what he’s doing at times is just holding on to the ball too long.

His feel for the pocket last year was a big part of why I expected him to have a nice year in 2019. In the second half of last season he seemed to have a knack for evading the rush right before it would get too close, and he was able to get outside and make plays. Defenses are playing him differently this year and he hasn’t been able to adjust.

By percentage, Trubisky has been sacked the 8th most this year after 9 games, whereas in 2018 he was sacked the ninth least.

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
2017 - 24 Loggains
2018 - 18 Nagy
2019 - 27 Nagy

Sack 23 - First Quarter :34 - Devon Kennard
On this 2nd and 6, Trubisky gives a token play fake and then has plenty of time to scan the field. He starts to float to his left when he doesn’t see anyone to throw to, and then Devon Kennard, who fought his way around right tackle Bobby Massie, makes the sack.

But I’m not pinning this one on Massie, because do you see anyone that he could have flipped the ball to?

Sure, maybe he’s not looking at his running back, but if he isn’t, why not? He should at the very least have seen a navy blue streak dart in front of him. David Montgomery had check-release responsibility (stay in to block after the fake, then if no one was there to pick up, release into the field) and should have been a viable option, especially since the single high safety tells the QB not to throw the post. That defensive look tells Trubisky that he should be looking short to his left.

Now watch the full play and notice Allen Robinson on the left sideline, and also notice there is one Lion defender between the he and Montgomery. This is where Trubisky should have been going with the ball.

I gave both All-22 angles so you can get a good feel for the timing of the play as it unfolded in front of Trubisky.

This is a sack that Trubisky never should have took, so it’s on him.

Sack 24 - Second Quarter 8:23 - Mike Daniels
The Bears had a 3rd and 10 on this one and Trubisky didn’t have a chance. The Lions are stunting the wide-9 linebacker (#42 Kennard) back inside through Chicago’s right a-gap, while nose tackle Mike Daniels is going to the b-gap. This is the second week a long stunt got home against the Bears, and just like last week it is a good play call.

Center Cody Whitehair feels NT Daniels stunting away so he passes him off to his right. The problem with that is right guard Rashaad Coward was engaged with a blitzing linebacker (#51 Jahlani Tavai), so he’s not in position to accept Daniels. Since the stunt came all the way from the nine-technique, right tackle Massie was the guy left with no one to block, but to have him squeeze all the way down in anticipation of the nose tackle stunting to him is not feasible, especially since Coward was beat so quickly.

But Trubisky does a nice job in evading Tavai by stepping up in the pocket. Unfortunately Mike Daniels was there waiting for him. Whitehair saw the stunt coming to him, which is why he released Daniels, but he essentially released him to sack his QB.

Left guard James Daniels had no one to block since Detroit only rushed four, so he was in position to get Kennard stunting from the right. Whitehair never should have passed a guy off when his right guard wasn’t there, so this sack is on him.

Sack 25 - Fourth Quarter 11:33 - Trey Flowers
Fading backwards out of the pocket is rarely a good idea. When Trubisky moves back that forces his offensive tackles to lose any leverage they may have on their defenders and there’s nothing they can do to stop the Lions from disengaging and running at the QB.

While the pocket was tight, Trubisky still should have climbed it instead of retreating. He would have kept his offensive tackles between him and the two Lion edge defenders, and maybe found a way to squirt ahead for some positive yards.

I’m only going to put half of this on on the QB however, as Massie gave ground up too quick instead of guiding his man deeper past the pocket.

But before we move on, what the hell is happening with Anthony Miller and Allen Robinson up near the top right of the GIF? My guess is Miller was supposed to sit while Robinson ran his route over the top on him, but Miller didn’t stay still.

Sack 26 - Fourth Quarter 8:12 - Tavon Wilson
I’m normally irritated when a QB leaves the pocket and takes a sack instead of chucking it out of bounds to save the loss in yardage, but this was a 3rd and 1, so a toss out of bounds brings up a punting situation anyway. I can’t fault Trubisky for trying to scramble for the first down instead of throwing it away, but this is another one where he seemed to have a player or two open late. This sack is ultimately on Trubisky.

It looked like Trubisky panicked when Taylor Gabriel fell down to the left and the single high safety took away Miller who was running down the left sideline.

Once he broke the pocket a quick shovel to David Montgomery could have been enough to get the first down, but at the very least a lob to Robinson when defensive back Tavon Wilson came up to sack Trubisky may have worked here too.

Sack 27 - Fourth Quarter 4:21 - Jahlani Tavai
The Bears had trips right with tight end Ben Braunecker alone to the left. Detroit was showing a single high safety which meant they were likely in man to man or cover three. On the snap the Lions rushed six, with blitzes from each side, so Trubisky was going to need to look to his hot route, which on this play was the short crosser, Braunecker.

With the trips all going deep — essentially clearing out the right side — Braunecker only had to beat his man to get into the clear. But his man blitzed leaving him uncovered. That’s him streaking across the middle of the field wide open.

I wanted to show the behind the QB look for this play too, because you see that the Lion responsible for covering Braunecker blitzes. Since Braunecker had a wide split, that took linebacker Jahlani Tavai (#51) far outside and he was definitely rushing. With a blitz coming from that side as well, running back Montgomery took the inside threat off the edge. Chicago’s left side (Leno and Daniels) were both occupied, so the extra man is Trubisky’s responsibility.

Throw the damn ball to the hot route.

2019 Individual Sackwatch after 9 games:

Mitchell Trubisky - 11.5
Sacks Happen - 4
Bobby Massie - 2.5
Cody Whitehair - 2
Kyle Long - 2
Chase Daniel - 1.5
Charles Leno Jr. - 1.5
Ted Larsen - 1
James Daniels - 1