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Chicago Bears Sackwatch 2019: Week 13 vs. the Detroit Lions

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NFL: Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

According to ESPN’s Pass Block Win Rate, which is powered by NFL Next Gen Stats, the Chicago Bears have a top 10 pass blocking unit. This analytical measurement tracks how long an offensive lineman holds their block, with any hold over 2.5 seconds counting as a win. Now this is clearly not a perfect way to gauge the effectiveness of a pass block, but it is another tool to look at when trying to determine how good or bad the Bears pass protection has been this year.

My Sackwatch has the blame for several of the Bears’ sacks allowed somewhere other than on the offensive line, and with the Bears sack percentage at a 13th worst 7.2% that helps support my findings.

But even with my Sackwatch (just like with grades) the only way to know specific assignments and blame would be to be a fly on the wall when the Bears watch film. So take this data for what it is.

I thought the Bears pass pro has improved the last few weeks, and part of that is the comfort of the most recent center-left guard swap, and also the quarterback has been working the pocket better than earlier this season.

Let’s see how things have shaped up through the years.

Sackwatch after 12 games

2010 - 45 Martz
2011 - 34 Martz
2012 - 36 Tice
2013 - 21 Trestman
2014 - 30 Trestman
2015 - 20 Gase
2016 - 23 - Loggains
2017 - 29 - Loggains
2018 - 28 Nagy
2019 - 33 Nagy

Right before the Bears allowed their only sack of the day, FOX put up this graphic, which told me the jinx was on.

Sack 33 - Fourth Quarter 9:30 - Trey Flowers
Snap to sack, this one is about three seconds, but if you only count the time left tackle Charles Leno Jr. is engaged with defensive end Trey Flowers, you’re under 2.5 seconds, so how would this one be scored by ESPN? I think they’d call it a win for Flowers, and if that’s the case, I’d agree.

Leno got caught lunging after initially stopping his man. Look how far out in front of his feet his head and shoulders are. When your pass block set isn’t in balance, a good pass rusher like Flowers will use that against you, and that’s exactly what Flowers does by pulling Leno forward.

To the Lions credit, they didn’t allow any Bears receivers to get open, but regardless, I’m still giving this one to Leno.

2019 Individual Sackwatch after 12 games:

Mitchell Trubisky - 12.5
Sacks Happen - 6
Charles Leno Jr. - 3.5
Chase Daniel - 2.5
Bobby Massie - 2.5
Cody Whitehair - 2
Kyle Long - 2
Ted Larsen - 1
James Daniels - 1