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Chicago Bears Sackwatch 2019: Week 11 vs. the Los Angeles Rams

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Lester breaks down all three sacks allowed by the Bears from Sunday against the Rams.

Chicago Bears v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

Here’s a quick history lesson on the Sackwatch for those of you that are interested.

The idea came from our very own Kev H, who apparently wanted to make me stress out every time I watched the Bears allow a sack for the rest of my life. But I liked his idea if to only help show that not every sack allowed was the fault of the offensive linemen.

There’s a perception from the casual fan that if a defender gets a sack the closest offensive lineman is to blame, so as a former o-lineman I figured I could shed some light on the overall pass protection and in turn occasionally absolve some of the big guys.

My first year doing these breakdowns was actually year two of the Mike Martz era, but since I wanted to see how much the pass protection would improve from Martz’s first year to the next, I went back and tracked the sacks from the 2010 season as well. My theory being sacks would decrease as the offensive system became more comfortable to the players, and even with guys like J’Marcus Webb and Lance Louis at left and right tackle respectively, sacks did go down in that second year.

But that’s not happening in year two of the Matt Nagy system.

Let’s see where we stand in the Sackwatch after 10 games.

2010 - 37 Martz
2011 - 23 Martz
2012 - 34 Tice
2013 - 16 Trestman
2014 - 24 Trestman
2015 - 18 Gase
2016 - 22 Loggains
2017 - 25 Loggains
2018 - 19 Nagy
2019 - 30 Nagy

Sack 28 - Second Quarter :39 - Troy Hill
Trubisky really had no where to go on this play as the Rams had the Bear receivers bottled up pretty good. It was a 3rd and 8 on L.A.’s 37 yard line, so had Trubisky not taken a sack it would have meant a 54 yard field goal try for Eddy Pineiro, which probably wasn’t an option.

Chicago’s interior does a nice job in picking up a stunt, but Aaron Donald is still able to bully left guard James Daniels back into Trubisky which ultimately leads to the scramble. But since the QB did make it to the top of his drop before needing to escape, I’m saying he had enough time to unload the ball (if someone would have been open), so the pass protection held up.

It’s at this point where I’m willing to go with Sacks Happen since the coverage was decent.

But then he scrambles out of the pocket and decides to take a sack.

Trubisky was forced to his right, and since there were only two receivers on that side of the field, his options were limited. The other three receivers didn’t show any urgency in their scramble drill, so at this point Trubisky should have made a business decision. He evaded the pressure (Nice!), he got out of the pocket (Woo-hoo!), so a simple chuck out of bounds would have saved the sack and the loss in yards, and prevented him from getting hit.

I get wanting to make a play, but there were Rams all around him and the sideline was to his left. He had no where to go, SO THROW THE DAMN BALL OUT OF BOUNDS!

Since Mitch elected to take the sack, he gets the sack allowed...

EDIT: But on second thought and after a point raised by Jonathan Wood on Twitter, perhaps Trubisky didn’t want to stop the clock knowing the Bears would likely punt. I’ve gotten so used to Trubisky refusing to lob the ball out of bounds in these situations that I didn’t take time left in the half into account. I have my doubts that Mitch was cognizant of the clock, but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt on this one.

Sack 29 - Fourth Quarter 2:30 - Aaron Donald
This time it was Chase Daniel in at QB, but it was another nice job of coverage by the Rams. Daniel gets to the top of his drop and has no where to go with the ball. Tarik Cohen had check-release responsibility and when no one blitzed he ran through the line for what looks like an option route. If he doesn’t do a little hop then stutter step, he probably would have been Chase’s check-down read, but since Cohen’s route was a bit lackadaisical, Chase had to scramble.

At this point I’m ready to go Sacks Happen, but WHAT THE HELL IS HE SLIDING FOR?

Daniel runs to the right, and just like in the first sack allowed, a Bear QB is out of the pocket where a simple dump out of bounds would save the sack and the loss in yardage. Daniel isn’t going to outrun the speedy Aaron Donald, who is in a spy technique from his defensive tackle position, so just flip it out of bounds. Sure it was only a one yard loss, but it was a pointless one yard loss, so this sack is on Daniel.

Sack 30 - Fourth Quarter 2:02 - Aaron Donald
I think teams have found something on tape to attack the Bears pass protection, because this long stunt from the edge rusher to the opposite a-gap has been getting home regularly against the Bears.

This was a third and eleven, so the Bears had some longer developing routes, which gave Donald the time to dart down the line from his right end spot. Right guard Rashaad Coward actually does a decent job in staying between Donald and his QB, but Donald has defensive back quickness and he jukes him before getting back inside.

Chase had time to scan the field, but after setting up he had no where to go with the ball. He sees a hole in the line that he tried to sneak through, but Aaron Donald is just too damn fast.

Here’s the hole he thought was there right before Donald and company closed it down.

Another good job of coverage by L.A., and this time I am going with Sacks Happen.

2019 Individual Sackwatch after 10 games:

Mitchell Trubisky - 11.5
Sacks Happen - 6
Chase Daniel - 2.5
Bobby Massie - 2.5
Cody Whitehair - 2
Kyle Long - 2
Charles Leno Jr. - 1.5
Ted Larsen - 1
James Daniels - 1