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Chicago Bears Sackwatch 2021: Week 15 vs Minnesota Vikings

Minnesota Vikings v Chicago Bears Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Three more sacks allowed by the Chicago Bears this week, and if the season were to end right now the 45 sacks allowed by the 2021 Bears would be tied for 10th most in team history. Number one on that list is the 2004 Bears at 66 sacks allowed, and with 56 sacks given up the 2010 Mike Martz coordinated offense checks in at number two.

I thought the overall pass protection was solid most of the night, and despite a few more penalties, rookie left tackle Teven Jenkins had a nice game. With fellow rookie Larry Borom off the Reserve/COVID-19 list, I hope we get to see the young tackles bookending the Bears offensive line the rest of the way.

Here are the historical numbers of the Sackwatch era after 14 games.

2010 - 48 Martz
2011 - 42 Martz
2012 - 42 Tice
2013 - 24 Trestman
2014 - 37 Trestman
2015 - 28 Gase
2016 - 24 Loggains
2017 - 33 Loggains
2018 - 30 Nagy
2019 - 38 Nagy
2020 - 34 Nagy
2021 - 45 Nagy/Lazor

This week’s sacks won’t be that difficult to break down, so here we go...

Sack 43 - Second Quarter 2:00 - D. J. Wonnum
Head coach Matt Nagy talked about what went wrong on this play at his Tuesday press conference by saying Fields’ rule there was to throw either a dart or a free throw.

“What that means is when you get back, it’s a rocker step. You set it up.” Nagy said. “Now you’re gonna let the defensive end come get you. We want to have the defensive end rush you. It’s the quarterback’s job to throw a dart or free throw. Dart meaning you got to laser it to him or free throw meaning it’s over the top.”

Here’s the play.

“What happened was, he kind of jumped a little bit like you said and he got caught trying to make the throw.” Nagy continued. “He made a good decision of… in his eyes he felt like it was gonna get tipped. He pulled it back down. The problem is he got caught in mid-air and wasn’t able to dirt it. So that was that.”

Running back Damien Williams was there for Fields to lob the ball to, but the throw would’ve had to have been a bit towards the sideline, because the Viking defensive tackle was coming down the line. Fields will learn from this play to keep his feet, and if he’s not comfortable with the throwing lane to fire it into the dirt.

Sack 44 - Third Quarter 13:12 - D. J. Wonnum
This one is on the rookie QB as well. It starts off okay, with a play action to David Montgomery followed by a straight drop back, but once Fields decides to leave the pocket his protection is his responsibility.

Him running to the left means his blockers will lose leverage, so it’s impossible to expect tight end Cole Kmet to stick with D. J. Wonnum. There was some pressure leaking from his right, but at that point he either needs to stand his ground and fire the ball to the left flat where J.P. Holtz was running or beat Wonnum around the edge. Drifting backwards rarely works, and this is another play he’ll learn from in his film study.

Sack 45 - Third Quarter 1:02 - D. J. Wonnum
This 4th and 1 play was doomed form the start. The ESPN broadcast team mentioned that David Montgomery had a helmet issue, so he ran to the sideline and rookie Khalil Herbert came on to take his place. Herbert lined up on the left of the line of scrimmage, but wide out Darnell Mooney seemed to be confused. That confusion should have signaled Nagy to call a time out, especially on a critical fourth down play.

The Bears clearly intended to rush to the line to catch the Viking defense off-guard, but there was something not right on this play. Fields had no where to go with the ball, and I’m not sure if a correctly run play action form Mooney would have mattered.

Since it this was fourth down Fields couldn't chuck it out of bounds to save the loss in yardage, so he had no choice but to take the sack.

This is a sacks happen, but for those scoring at home, Nagy should have called a time out.

Here’s the individual 2021 Sackwatch tally after 14 games.

Sacks happen - 11.5
Justin Fields - 9
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

This last stat is fascinating to me, so 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
Week 15 - Vikings: D. J. Wonnum 3