I’m just going to jump right into it since there’s five Chicago Bears sacks allowed to break down this week.
First a quick peek at how things have looked historically.
Sackwatch after 8 games:
2010 - 32 Martz
2011 - 21 Martz
2012 - 28 Tice
2013 - 12 Trestman
2014 - 20 Trestman
2015 - 14 Gase
2016 - 14 Loggains
2017 - 19 Loggains
2018 - 17 Nagy
2019 - 22 Nagy
2020 - 20 Nagy
And now let’s get down to the nitty gritty.
Sack 16 - First Quarter 2:43 - Sheldon Rankins and Marcus Davenport
You guys remember this first sack, don’t you? It left me shaking my head at the TV when they showed the replay.
What he should have done was keep his shoulders square, shuffle out towards his left tackle (closing the B-gap), then passed his man off while waiting for the defensive end to come back to him. With Coward offering ZERO resistance, he allows his man to get to his left tackle’s inside shoulder too quick, which makes this an impossible block for Charles Leno Jr. to make as he’s still processing his own pass off inside.
I have no idea what Coward is even doing on this play. This one is on him.
Sack 17 - Third Quarter 11:51 - Malcolm Jenkins
Much like Coward was burned for turning his shoulders on that first sack, this time it’s right tackle Jason Spriggs that didn’t keep his shoulders square. The hesitation blitz was nice, but Spriggs was too quick to turn outside and wasn’t in position to do anything.
Running back David Montgomery was part of the pass protection on the left side along with tight end Cole Kmet, so they had enough bodies (7) to cover the six Saint rushers. Spriggs just opened the door for linebacker Demario Davis (#56), and it was that pressure that initially flustered Nick Foles. The Saints had the Bears receivers covered up, but with no pocket to step up into, Foles was a sitting duck.
Had Davis gave a more decisive coffeehouse blitz move — by either dropping back to spy or turning his shoulders away to simulate dropping into coverage — before rushing, then I probably would have put this in the Sacks Happen category, but since he simply hesitated before blitzing I’m giving this sack allowed to Spriggs.
Sack 18 - Fourth Quarter :28 - Cameron Jordan
This one is also on Spriggs as he just whiffs on Jordan’s quick inside move and is on Foles in just about two seconds.
If Foles had time to come to his second read, he may be able to hit the crossing Anthony Miller, but with Jordan on him so quickly he goes down. Also, while Coward at left guard does a better job with stunt recognition, I’d like to see him be able to anchor a bit and not get pushed back so easily.
Sack 19 - Overtime 6:07 - David Onyemata
I’m not a fan of what Spriggs is doing on this play either, but I also have no idea what right guard Germain Ifedi is doing at all.
The Bears are running a play action so Spriggs, and the other o-linemen, are all stepping to the left to give the impression an outside zone is coming. Spriggs has a relative easy block if he just stays with his man (#93, David Onyemata), but for some reason he stands his ground and releases him inside. Even if Spriggs was expecting Ifedi to be near to pick Onyemata up, there’s no other threat that Spriggs should be concerned with.
Foles rides out the fake, then settles back to try to hit Darnell Mooney running down the field. On the FOX broadcast, Troy Aikman mentioned that Foles, “got hung up on the deep ball,” and with the Saintgs taking Mooney away, Foles should have looked to Allen Robinson who crosses from his right to left. It would have been a tight throw, but it was better than taking a sack. This one is on Foles.
Sack 20 - First Quarter 4:42 - Trey Hendrickson
This play shoes just how unathletic Foles is, but the heady veteran is just as guilty as his predecessor by rolling outside the pocket and taking an unnecessary sack. Once he clears the tackle to tackle box he’s free to chuck the ball out of bounds to save the loss in yards.
Sure it was a third and ten, and he likely knew they were going to punt on fourth down, but don’t lose four yards when you don’t have to, especially in overtime. If Foles didn’t get squeezed from both edges and forced to move up, he may have been able to hit Robinson who comes settling over the middle, but he was bumped on the step up and escaped to the left. This one is on Foles since he evaded the pressure and ate the sack.
2020 Individual Sackwatch after 8 games:
Bobby Massie - 3⅓
Sacks Happen - 3
Nick Foles - 2
Mitchell Trubisky - 2
Rashaad Coward - 2
Jason Spriggs - 2
Germain Ifedi - 1⅓
Cody Whitehair - 1
Alex Bars - 1
Charles Leno Jr. - 1
Jimmy Graham - .5
James Daniels - .5
Sam Mustipher - ⅓