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Chicago Bears Sackwatch 2020: Week 17 vs the Green Bay Packers

We wrap up the 2020 edition of Sackwatch with only one sack allowed!

Green Bay Packers v Chicago Bears Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Chicago Bears had two quarterbacks nearly split attempts this year with Mitchell Trubisky passing 297 times and Nick Foles attempting 312, and with them each getting sacked 18 times that meant Foles’ sack percentage of 5.5% narrowly beat out Trubisky’s 5.7%.

But Mitch really improved his sack percentage as the year wore on. In his first three games this season that number was at 7.5%, and that was with Chicago’s number one offensive line, but since getting the starting job back he was only sacked 5.0% of the time in these last 6 games.

The offensive line has stabilized in that time, but Mitch was also was smarter with the ball. Only once since getting the starting job back did he run out of bounds behind the line of scrimmage, and that was his first game back, week 12 in Green Bay.

Trubisky will need to be smart with the ball in their wildcard game on Sunday as the New Orleans Saints had 45 sacks this year, which was 8th most, and their 18 interceptions was tied for the league league.

Sackwatch after 16 games:

2010 - 56 Mike Martz
2011 - 49 Mike Martz
2012 - 45 Mike Tice
2013 - 30 Marc Trestman
2014 - 41 Marc Trestman
2015 - 33 Adam Gase
2016 - 27 Dowell Loggains
2017 - 39 Dowell Loggains
2018 - 33 Matt Nagy
2019 - 45 Matt Nagy
2020 - 36 Matt Nagy

For those wondering, even though the Bears allowed more sacks this year than in Nagy’s first year in Chicago, this year’s sack percentage was lower (5.5% to 6.1%), but no where near as high as 2019’s 7.2%.

Now on to this weeks lone sack!

Sack 36 - Second Quarter 13:59 - Christian Kirksey
This was a first and ten and the Bears came out with a fake outside zone run to the left, with Trubisky settling in the pocket to throw instead of rolling out opposite of his fake. They brought Jimmy Graham under the formation to the right after the ball was snapped, so he could pick up the edge rusher that was left free when the offensive line all stepped left. Graham did his job and got in the way of outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith (#55), but when Graham stayed in to block, that allowed Christian Kirksey (#58) to attack the quarterback.

Both Smith and Kirksey played fundamentally sound football by not falling for the play action. I’m sure the Packers emphasized to their backside defenders all week to be aware of the play action bootlegs from Mitch, and as you can see Smith works down the line with his eyes on the QB, and Kirksey doesn’t even bother to flow with the fake.

This was just a good disciplined play by the Green Bay defense, as Trubisky had no where to go with the ball. Kirksey forced Mitch to step up, the step up caused Graham to lose leverage on his block, which in turn made Mitch stutter step, which allowed Kirksey to dive and pick up the sack.

Sometimes Sacks Happen.

Here’s the 2020 individual Sackwatch after all 16 games:

Sacks Happen - 5
Rashaad Coward - 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

I always find it interesting to compare how the sacks have gone, so here’s the individual totals going all the way back to Trubisky’s rookie year.

Here’s how I had it in 2019:

Mitchell Trubisky - 15
Sacks Happen - 9
Charles Leno Jr. - 5.5
Cody Whitehair - 3
Chase Daniel - 2.5
Bobby Massie - 2.5
Kyle Long - 2
Ted Larsen - 2
Cornelius Lucas - 1.5
Rashaad Coward - 1
James Daniels - 1

There were a lot of Mitch sacks from running out of bounds behind the line of scrimmage a year ago.

Here’s how I had it in 2018, when the Bears went 12-4:

Sacks Happen - 12.5
Mitchell Trubisky - 6
Charles Leno Jr. - 4
Bobby Massie - 3
Kyle Long - 2
Chase Daniel - 2
Bryan Witzmann - 1.5
Cody Whitehair - 1
Dion Sims - .5
Eric Kush - .5

And finally, here’s how I had the Sackwatch in 2017:

Sacks Happen - 13
Mitchell Trubisky - 4
Charles Leno Jr. - 3.5
Bobby Massie - 3.5
Bradley Sowell - 3.5
Hroniss Grasu - 2.5
Mike Glennon - 2
Josh Sitton - 2
Jordan Howard - 1.5
Kyle Long - 1
Cody Whitehair - 1
Benny Cunningham - 1
Zach Miller - .5