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Chicago Bears Sackwatch 2019: Week 14 vs. the Dallas Cowboys

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NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Chicago Bears Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

With two more sacks given up against the Dallas Cowboys, the Chicago Bears have now allowed more sacks than all of last year when they allowed 33 sacks, and their 7.1 sack percentage this season is a full sack more than they gave up a year ago (6.1%). Things are trending in the right direction with the Bears pass protection this year, but they could use a few sackless weeks as they try for the postseason.

Here’s where the Sackwatch stood at this point in the season (13 games) going back to the Mike Martz era, along with the end of the season sack percentage in parenthesis.

2010 - 47 Martz (10.7%)
2011 - 38 Martz (9.4%)
2012 - 38 Tice (8.3%)
2013 - 22 Trestman (4.9%)
2014 - 30 Trestman (6.3%)
2015 - 23 Gase (5.9%)
2016 - 24 Loggains (4.8%)
2017 - 31 Loggains (7.6%)
2018 - 29 Nagy (6.1%)
2019 - 35 Nagy (7.1%)

Sack 34 Second Quarter 15:00 - Darlan Thompson
At first glance watching live, I thought Mitchell Trubisky missed a free blitzer off the edge, which would put this sack allowed on him, but upon further review what the heck is right tackle Cornelius Lucas doing?

Lucas popped up, no kick step to be found, set his hands for a split second, then dove late. Dallas’ defensive end, DeMarcus Lawrence, gave a brief head fake outside then went inside towards right guard Rashaad Coward, who was luckily in position pick Lawrence up.

Since running back Tarik Cohen immediately shot out to the flat, the Bears are in a 5-man protection with their left side (left guard James Daniels and left tackle Charles Leno Jr.) taking the man to their outside gaps, center Cody Whitehair turning right, Coward setting then going right (probably to take middle linebacker Sean Lee had he blitzed), meaning Lucas was left on an island with Lawrence.

Lucas whiffed, but had he stayed upright he still wouldn’t have taken defensive back Darlan Thompson who was a free blitzer in this protection, meaning the blitzer was Trubisky’s responsibility.

But upon closer inspection Trubisky sets up and cocks his arm to throw before Thompson even gets home, so let’s see what the QB was looking at.

What the hell was Anthony Miller and Allen Robinson doing in the same spot?

My best guess is Miller (who was WR2) should have ran an out breaking route, with Robinson (WR3) sitting down at the sticks. There was a single high safety so when Javon Wims (WR1) runs down the sideline the cornerback was going to stay with him, leaving Miller nothing but open grass to run the out. But when Miller ran the curl to the inside instead, the defensive back jumped Robinson’s route and Trubisky had to pull back his throw.

Had Miller gone outside Trubisky would have had an open Robinson for a quick throw, or depending on the cushion Miller had, Trubisky could have hit Miller on the out as well.

While Trubisky was technically responsible for the free blitzer off the edge, he knew this was a quick hitter that should have been completed if his play-side receivers all did their jobs.

I’ll give this one to sacks happen, but if there was a precedent for putting it on a wide out it would go to Miller.

Sack 35 - Third Quarter 12:57 - Michael Bennett
Charles Leno has played decent football since the bye, but he’s also allowed some sacks since then. Both of those things can be true, but you need to understand that one or two mistakes in 70 plays is still pretty damn good for an offensive lineman.

On this sack he’s bull-rushed back into his quarterback by Michael Bennett, who is a damn good defensive end, and he was really beat on that first swipe by Bennett.

That powerful swipe by Bennett got Leno off balance and too high to slow the rush. Bennett just kept working Leno back until he could dive over him for the sack.

2019 Individual Sackwatch after 13 games:

Mitchell Trubisky - 12.5
Sacks Happen - 7
Charles Leno Jr. - 4.5
Chase Daniel - 2.5
Bobby Massie - 2.5
Cody Whitehair - 2
Kyle Long - 2
Ted Larsen - 1
James Daniels - 1