I enjoyed last years week 15 game against the Green Bay Packers much better than this year’s version. Besides the fact that the Chicago Bears only allowed one sack, and not three like on Sunday, that was the game where the Bears clinched the NFC North title and eliminated the Packers from the postseason.
I also thought that was one of Mitchell Trubisky’s best games of the 2018 season as he displayed a good command of the offense both pre and post snap, he was decisive with his throws, and he had good pocket presence.
But let’s move on to this year...
Sackwatch after 14 games
2010 - 48 Martz
2011 - 42 Martz
2012 - 42 Tice
2013 - 24 Trestman
2014 - 37 Trestman
2015 - 28 Gase
2016 - 24 Loggains
2017 - 33 Loggains
2018 - 30 Nagy
2019 - 38 Nagy
Sack 36 - First Quarter 8:19 - Kenny Clark
This sack came one play after Kenny Clark shot between Rashaad Coward (RG) and Cornelius Lucas (RT), then abused a pulling J.P. Holtz to make a tackle on David Montgomery, so it was a nice sequence for the 2016 first round draft pick.
On this second and 9 sack, Clark flies right past a flat-footed Coward to get to the quarterback.
Coward seems to anchor as if he expected Clark to bull-rush, but then a quick hand slap by Clark and an even quicker rip gets him right by. This sack is on Coward, but while we’re here take a look at left guard James Daniels. His feet never stop moving and he even looks for some work back to his right by knocking that Packer who was rishing on center Cody Whitehair down on his ass.
Sack 37 - Second Quarter 2:46 - Rashan Gary
This is one of those where I don’t like the technique from Lucas (he lets his man get inside and under his hands), but since he’s so big he’s able to wall Rashan Gary off and he nearly gets him past the pocket.
The problem is Trubisky doesn’t step up to allow the rusher to go past him, and by drifting to the left Lucas loses what little bit of leverage he had of his block. But even if Trubisky steps up, who’s to say that Gary doesn’t continue working for the sack since he beat Lucas.
Since the pressure went over the top of him, Trubisky shouldn’t have darted off in the same direction that Lucas was guiding Gary, he should inched up and scrambled under the block to the right. That way he would have helped Lucas out by giving him back some leverage to pass block. He also had more receiving options to the right side of the field.
To be fair, the Packers had everything covered fairly well on this first and 10 play, but that does make me wonder why running back Tarik Cohen stutter-stepped and sat down when Green Bay was playing man coverage. You sit down between zone defenders, not against man to man. I would have liked to see him stutter then race across the middle since he had the Packer leaning to the outside.
Tight end J.P. Holtz does make himself available for a pass after helping left tackle Charles Leno Jr., but by then Trubisky is already flustered.
So where to blame the sack...
Trubisky didn’t handle the pressure as well as I would have liked, but Lucas gave the edge up to Gary too quickly.
Trubisky did get to the top of his drop and have time to set his feet, but he had no where to go with the ball.
Then again, the pressure got to Trubisky in about 2 seconds, but if he would have scrambled in the other direction he may have escaped.
I’m splitting it between Mitch and Lucas, but I was real close to going sacks happen.
Sack 38 - Third Quarter 10:53 - Kenny Clark
Clark got this sack on hustle alone... Well that and the fact that Trubisky went out of bounds instead of throwing the ball away!
This was a third and 4 play from the Green Bay 32 yard line, with the Bears trailing 14 to 3. They were too far out for a field goal try and too close for a punt, so Trubisky had to be aware of a potential fourth down attempt upcoming. So why run out of bounds and give away 2 yards?
I already went on a ‘football is a game of inches’ rant a few Sackwatches ago, so I’ll spare you a rehash of that, but just know that this sack pisses me off.
It could have been avoided if Trubisky had more football common sense.
Before we check the season tally, I wanted to share this Tweet from friend of the program Johnathan Wood about the pass protection.
Trubisky's average time to throw yesterday was 2.97 seconds, considerably longer than his season average of 2.68.— Johnathan Wood (@Johnathan_Wood1) December 16, 2019
To put that number in perspective, 2.97 seconds to throw is higher than season-long average of every NFL QB but Kirk Cousins.
And I recently found this one too.
Quarterback efficiency vs pass protection through Week 15 pic.twitter.com/00efNpS5Yw— new-age analytical (@benbbaldwin) December 18, 2019
2019 Individual Sackwatch after 14 games:
Mitchell Trubisky - 14
Sacks Happen - 7
Charles Leno Jr. - 4.5
Chase Daniel - 2.5
Bobby Massie - 2.5
Cody Whitehair - 2
Kyle Long - 2
Rashaad Coward - 1
Ted Larsen - 1
James Daniels - 1
Cornelius Lucas - .5