With the Chicago Bears allowing multiple week 1 sacks from 2014 to 2019, I was so excited to have only one lonely sack to break down in the debut Sackwatch of the 2020 season.
I thought the overall pass protection was damn good last week against the Detroit Lions, and I expected more of the same against the New York Giants in week two with only one or maybe two sacks allowed to look at.
I was wrong, but while the box score says the Bears allowed four sacks, I thought the overall pass pro was decent again on Sunday. Is there room to improve, sure, that’s a given in every aspect of what the team does, but considering how the protection was a year ago I’m pleased with what we’ve seen early on this season.
Sack 2 - 1st Quarter 12:55 - Kyler Fackrell
On the fourth play of the game, on a first down, Fackrell beat Jimmy Graham’s block as Graham came across the field after a play action fake. It’s Graham’s job to seal the backside in pass protection, but there’s more to this play than Fackrell slipping the block.
Take a look at the motion man. That’s Tarik Cohen coming right to left, and when the Giants don’t pay much attention to him, that should tell Trubisky hat he’s facing some sort of zone. With the top receiver running a slant, Mitch should have an inkling that Cohen could be wide open in the flat.
New York’s right cornerback bailed on the snap into a quarters coverage while keeping his eyes on the ball. The right linebacker picked up the slant, so Cohen was uncovered with plenty of space in front of him, so had Trubisky popped up after the fake handoff and looked left, he could have had a big play to Tarik.
But Mitch wanted a deep shot early in the game, and that’s likely how he was coached to read this. I can’t fault him entirely for not being ready to check it short, but this is probably something the coaches will talk with him about in film study and it could be there later in the season.
Even if Trubisky intended to come back to Cohen after checking deep first, he had no time because left guard James Daniels got his ass worked straight back nearly as fast as Mitch dropped. That’s the pressure that flushed him forward and right into Fackrell’s arms. Graham allowed Fackrell to spin inside, but I can’t pin this whole sack on the Bears’ new tight end, so I’ll split it between Daniels and Graham.
Sack 3 - 1st Quarter 2:23 - Lorenzo Carter
Another first down pass play where the Bears are looking to stretch the field, but they had the bubble screen wide open to the left had that been the first read. Again, I can’t fault Mitch for not looking that way immediately as it seems he was coached to look right first here, but with the Giants lined up loose to the left and them bailing on the snap, Graham would have had some grass in front of him on the bubble.
Much like the first sack, Trubisky didn’t even have time to get off his first progression as right tackle Bobby Massie was pushed back in a hurry before getting beat to the inside. Trubisky did step into the sack, but Massie was pushed back so far that Trubisky chose the path of least resistance in stepping up. Carter seems to have been setting his pass rush up for a move inside, and the timing of Mitch’s scramble led to the sack.
This one is on Massie.
But I did want to point out that Carter tried this same inside move later in the game and Massie negated it by riding him down the line of scrimmage.
Sack 4 - 2nd Quarter 11:37 - B.J. Hill
This All-22 replay angle really shows why Trubisky didn’t hit his open man coming across the field from the left to the right.
That’s Darnell Mooney that goes in motion before coming back across the field, and he is wide open to the right side. And while he was open, Trubisky’s progressions didn’t have him looking that direction. Watch his head on the play. He was looking to Allen Robinson first, who was settling into the middle of the field but was bracketed, he then came back to the left towards his tight end Graham, who was open, but by then the pressure was already in his face.
Hill, who starts off lined up on the outside shoulder of right guard Germain Ifedi, darts back inside on the snap and he catches center Cody Whitehair with his base too narrow as he closes the gap between he and Ifedi.
Hill gives Whitehair a good jolt to start him going backwards, but it’s when he pops Cody’s left arm straight up into the air when he’s able to get past the block. This is just a damn good pass rush rep by Hill, and this sacks is on Whitehair.
Sack 5 - 4th Quarter 2:56 - Blake Martinez
At this point in the game, on a third and eight, Matt Nagy likely told Trubisky to only throw it if it was a gimme. No need to force a throw and risk an interception, and no need to make a high difficulty throw that could result in an incompletion and the clock being stopped.
Trubisky didn’t have anyone open, then with some up the middle pressure after a defensive tackle twist, he took off scrambling to his left.
Mitch had the ball tucked and was in no position to throw, so he had every intention to slide down in bounds to keep the clock moving. This was a smart play by him, so this one goes into Sacks Happen.
2020 Individual Sackwatch after week 2:
Mitchell Trubisky - 1
Sacks Happen - 1
Bobby Massie - 1
Cody Whitehair - 1
Jimmy Graham - .5
James Daniels - .5
Historical Sackwatch after 2 games:
2010 Sacks - 5 (Martz)
2011 Sacks - 11 (Martz)
2012 Sacks - 9 (Tice)
2013 Sacks - 1 (Trestman)
2014 Sacks - 3 (Trestman)
2015 Sacks - 4 (Gase)
2016 Sacks - 8 (Loggains)
2017 Sacks - 5 (Loggains)
2018 Sacks - 6 (Nagy)
2019 Sacks - 5 (Nagy)
2020 Sacks - 5 (Nagy)