The Chicago Bears could have given up a lot more sacks on Sunday night against the Green Bay Packers, but quarterback Justin Fields was elusive when he was pressured. NextGen Stats had him down for 7 scrambles for 71 yards when the Packers were barreling down on him, and they had him pressured on 54.3% of his dropbacks. As it was they got to him twice, with both sacks coming from outside linebacker Preston Smith.
Smith’s multi-sack game is a fascinating trend I’ve been tracking this season, because he’s now the 12th player that has picked up more than a single sack against Chicago’s pass protection. The only team to not have a multi-sack player is the Lions in either of their two games against the Bears.
Here’s the full list of defenders that sacked a Bear QB more than once this season along with their sack total from that game.
- Week 1 - Rams: Justin Hollins 2
- Week 2 - Bengals: Trey Hendrickson 1.5
- Week 3 - Cleveland Browns: Myles Garrett 4.5, Jadeveon Clowney 2
- Week 5 - Las Vegas Raiders: Yannick Ngakoue 2
- Week 6 - Green Bay Packers: Kenny Clark 2
- Week 7 - Buccaneers: Jason Pierre-Paul 2
- Week 8 - San Francisco 49ers: Nick Bosa 2
- Week 9 - Pittsburgh Steelers: T.J. Watt 3
- Week 11 - Ravens: Tyus Bowser 2
- Week 13 - Cardinals: Jordan Hicks 2
- Week 14 - Packers: Preston Smith 2
Now on to this week’s damage.
Sack 41 - Third Quarter 8:50 - Preston Smith
Bears rookie Teven Jenkins had a rough debut subbing in at left tackle when starter Jason Peters went down with an ankle injury. He was flagged for four penalties, including one on this sack that the Packers declined.
The hold is hard to see on this angle, but he gets his arm wrapped under Smith’s facemask. He quickly unhooks it, but in hindsight he should have kept it in to save his QB the hit and subsequent strip sack.
Jenkins needs to be more prepared for the chip help re-direct from his tight end by understanding that it’s going to push Smith’s angle out even further upfield. He needs to be quicker to the spot. He also fails to get much of a punch, which would have slowed some of Smith’s momentum. Smith gets himself skinny with the rip under before Jenkins can get his hands up, which takes away some surface area for Jenkins to strike. Jenkins also lunges with his head which causes him to lose any leverage he may have still had to make the block.
Sack 42 - Fourth Quarter 1:13 - Preston Smith
Jenkins gave this one up to Smith too, and just like in the first one, Jenkins gets no punch to jolt Smith at all. This time he sets up like he was expecting a chip from his running back, but even if the chip hits, Jenkins still needs to have his hands in a better position. He knows that he’s on an island with the edge defender and he can’t let Smith get around his block. There’s a strike zone there for Jenkins to hit with his outside hand, and if he brings that up and into Smith’s chest he probably slows him enough on this rush.
Jenkins is also leaning too much trying to cut the defender off with his head and upper body, but he should be moving his feet to cut Smith off that way. He’ll need some time to get used to the speed of the NFL game, and he’ll need time to get totally comfortable with all his assignments.
My guess is Jenkins is thinking too much, because his trademark aggressiveness wasn't there in this game, and that’s normal for a rookie tackle. Even more so with one that is coming off a back surgery that missed a lot of practice time. The Bears aren’t doing any live reps in practice this time of year, so it’s going to take Jenkins some time to get into the swing of things.
There were some real nice reps from Jenkins in this game, and I’m still just as excited to see him play and develop as I was when the Bears drafted him.
Here are the historical total sacks allowed through 13 games, plus the year end sack percentages.
2010 - 47 Martz (10.7%)
2011 - 38 Martz (9.4%)
2012 - 38 Tice (8.3%)
2013 - 22 Trestman (4.9%)
2014 - 30 Trestman (6.3%)
2015 - 23 Gase (5.9%)
2016 - 24 Loggains (4.8%)
2017 - 31 Loggains (7.6%)
2018 - 29 Nagy (6.1%)
2019 - 35 Nagy (7.2%)
2020 - 33 Nagy (5.5%)
2021 - 42 Nagy (9.9% so far)
This year’s percentage is still close to the 2010 season, but it has been trending down in recent weeks.
Here’s the individual 2021 Sackwatch tally after 13 games:
Sacks happen - 10.5
Justin Fields - 7
Jason Peters - 6
Cody Whitehair - 3.5
Germain Ifedi - 3
James Daniels - 3
Lachavious Simmons - 2
Teven Jenkins - 2
Larry Borom - 1.5
Alex Bars - 1
Khalil Herbert - 1
Andy Dalton - .5
Sam Mustipher - .5
Cole Kmet - .5