The Jacksonville Jaguars did a nice job in taking away some of the bootleg pass plays the Chicago Bears have been using so much of late, so Chicago’s pass protection was going to have to rise to the challenge of creating a pocket to throw from. And for the most part, it did. The Bears only allowed 1 sack and 5 total quarterback hits on the afternoon.
Chicago also worked in a few new wrinkles to the passing game we’ve seen them run the past few weeks, and after a slow start things started clicking.
The Bears will have a tough test on Sunday against the Green Bay Packers who seem to always have a good plan to attack Mitchell Trubisky. In his 6 career games played against them the Bears are only 1-5, but in the lone win he was only sacked once, while in the five losses he was sacked 20 times.
Historical Sackwatch after 15 games
2010 - 50 Martz
2011 - 42 Martz
2012 - 43 Tice
2013 - 29 Trestman
2014 - 39 Trestman
2015 - 29 Gase
2016 - 25 Loggains
2017 - 38 Loggains
2018 - 33 Nagy
2019 - 41 Nagy
2020 - 35 Nagy
Sack 35 - Second Quarter 8:21 - Joe Schobert
This was the first Bears play after that Mike Glennon dime to D.J. Chalk for a touchdown, so if you were like me you probably had a ‘here we go again’ moment. Fortunately this was the only sack the Bears allowed and they went on to crush the Jags.
On this play the Bears had a first and ten and they tried to get something downfield after a play action fake with an outside zone action to the left, but as soon as Trubisky turned back after the fake, he had a defender penetrating up the gut.
Tight end Cole Kmet stayed in to block on the right side, so the line was set to work things back to their left. Right tackle Germain Ifedi was taking the defensive lineman to his inside, Alex Bars was checking linebacker then settling in to help, center Sam Mustipher had the defensive tackle to his left, left guard Cody Whitehair had the d-lineman to his left, and left tackle Charles Leno Jr. had the edge rusher to his left.
Mustipher overextends on his block and his man crosses his face with no resistance. He then compounds his mistake by turning to chase his missed block, which takes him out of position to help as Whitehair’s man is working down the line through the middle. Bars, when he sees Mustipher get beat, tries to help out but his chasing takes him out of position as well.
Here’s the other All-22 angle of the play for a full field view.
Trubisky is looking deep middle to wide out Darnell Mooney, then checking the sideline for tight end Jimmy Graham on the wheel route, then back down to running back Ryan Nall in the left flat after the play action. Ideally Mitch could have quickly dumped it to Nall, but with the quick pressure coming from his left he probably didn’t feel he had a good window to throw.
Schobert, the Jaguar that picked up this sack, attacked Nall downhill before continuing on in pursuit of the quarterback. As Trubisky tried to evade the pressure by running upfield, Schobert scraped over and punch the ball out and got the sack.
I’m pinning this sack allowed on Mustipher. If he didn’t whiff of his assignment the pocket would have had some integrity, and Mitch may have felt comfortable enough to work through his progressions.
The Bears actually ran this same fake outside zone play action, running back in the left flat, wide out up the middle, tight end wheel route for a touchdown to Graham in the third quarter of this game and the pocket held.
Here’s the 2020 individual Sackwatch after 15 games:
Rashaad Coward - 4
Sacks Happen - 4
Bobby Massie - 3⅓
Mitchell Trubisky - 3
Cody Whitehair - 3
Charles Leno Jr. - 3
Germain Ifedi - 2⅓
Nick Foles - 2
Jason Spriggs - 2
Sam Mustipher - 1 5⁄6
David Montgomery - 1.5
Alex Bars - 1.5
Jimmy Graham - 1.5
Ryan Nall - 1
Cole Kmet - .5
James Daniels - .5