When I looked over the numbers before doing this weeks snap counts and stats article, I was surprised that the Chicago Bears only allowed 2 sacks on Monday night against the Minnesota Vikings. It sure felt like a lot more, and then I realized that the Vikings were credited with 11 quarterback hits, including that final vicious one that knocked Foles out of the game.
The pass protection had their moments, but they gave up too much pressure in key situations. Some of that is on the play caller not always having an outlet for Foles, but ultimately it’s on the veteran QB to make sure he’s in the best play possible based on the defense he’s seeing.
Before Foles exited, he was having the worst game of the season, and that’s taking the pressure out of the equation. He was missing hot routes, some of his throws were off, and even when he had a clean pocket he looked flustered.
The Bears won’t play again until week 12, and with both their top two quarterbacks nursing injuries, we may not know who’ll be the QB1 in that game for another week.
Let’s see where we stand in the Sackwatch historically 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
2020 - 25 Nagy
And now to this week’s breakdowns.
Sack 24 - Second Quarter 7:20 - Eric Wilson
When this play was replayed by the ESPN crew, analyst Brian Griese said that right guard Germain Ifedi was at fault for giving up pressure through the B-Gap. The Vikings were showing a blitz in each of Ifedi’s gaps, so Griese expected the Bears right guard to protect his inside gap but then quickly jump outside to the B-Gap when the Vikes dropped the A-Gap blitzer off the line.
That was incorrect.
The TV broadcast angle shows everything I need to explain where the blame lies on this sack.
First notice center Cody Whitehair point to his right to indicate the potential pressure from Vikings. Minnesota had four defenders all lined up to his right with just three possible blockers for Chicago. Whitehair was going to block the A-Gap to his left and he wanted to make sure Ifedi knew that. The Vikes had three defenders to the left of Whitehair, which meant that he, left guard Alex Bars, and left tackle Charles Leno Jr. were all taking those guys.
Foles had to know that on the snap, with running back Ryan Nall darting to the right flat, that he would have unblocked pressure off the right edge. But he wasn’t expecting immediate B-Gap pressure.
Right tackle Rashaad Coward should have squeezed inside to cut off the B-Gap with Ifedi taking the A-Gap, and then it would have been on Foles to deal with the defensive end.
After the play you can see Ifedi say something to Coward, and then Whitehair jumps in to talk with Coward as well.
This is just a hunch since I’m not in the huddle or in their o-line room, but my guess is that Coward missed a call, so this sack is on him.
Sack 25 - Third Quarter :47 - D.J. Wonnum
Sometimes you can tell who blew the pass protection by who helps the quarterback up to his feet, and as you can see on this one it’s Whitehair.
The Vikes run a stunt with Wonnum coming all the way from his right defensive end spot to test the Bears interior, and he catches Whitehair napping. I’m guessing that Cody thought he had no one to block so he was revving up to blast the guy Ifedi was blocking. But he made one huge mistake; when your guy goes away, like the linebacker in his right A-Gap does, you should expect someone to come back to you. Whitehair should have stayed square to the line of scrimmage while looking for a defender.
The Vikings made nice play up front, but they also had things covered up in the secondary as Foles had nowhere to go with the ball. The defense is paid to make plays to, and they did here, but this sack allowed is on Whitehair.
2020 Individual Sackwatch after 10 games:
Rashaad Coward - 4
Bobby Massie - 3⅓
Sacks Happen - 3
Cody Whitehair - 2
Nick Foles - 2
Mitchell Trubisky - 2
Jason Spriggs - 2
Alex Bars - 1.5
Jimmy Graham - 1.5
Germain Ifedi - 1⅓
Charles Leno Jr. - 1
Cole Kmet - .5
James Daniels - .5
Sam Mustipher - ⅓