No time for an intro this week, so let’s get right to work breaking down the NINE sacks allowed by the Chicago Bears against the Cleveland Browns.
Sack 7 - 1st Quarter 4:18 - Jadeveon Clowney
Nothing like a sack given up on first down immediately following a big fourth down stop by the defense to kill the momentum. At least this one is an easy sack to break down, as anyone listening to Greg Olsen on the broadcast heard him do it. Right tackle Germain Ifedi takes a quick step to the outside to cut off the edge, but Jadeveon Clowney immediately shoots the inside gap. Ifedi took took too flat of a kick, but even if he would have had a better angle, I’m not sure he could have stopped Clowney on this one.
Sack 8 - 2nd Quarter 11:47 -Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah and Myles Garrett
Olsen again did a nice job describing this next sack by calling it a green dog blitz, and for those of you that don’t know what that means, it’s when a defender blitzes the quarterback when his one on one pass responsibility stays in to block.
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, the player that gets circled, was matched up with running back David Montgomery, and once Montgomery took the play fake Owusu-Koramoah attacked Justin Fields. This is just a nice play by him and a good play call by the Browns, so this is a sacks happen. But the other half of this sack belonged to Myles Garrett, who bullied tight end Cole Kmet, so I got to ding him with half of the sack allowed.
But why the Hell is Kmet left on an island with one of the best pass rushers in the entire league?
And take a look at Ifedi getting beat inside again?
Sack 9 - 2nd Quarter 11:04 - Myles Garrett
Yep, on the very next play Fields is sacked again. I’m not sure why left tackle Jason Peters is trying to cut block Garrett, but my guess is he was expecting a quick pass to the left flat for Damien Williams or a quick slant to wide out Damiere Byrd to the left. Cutting the defensive end is a way to get him to drop his hands so he can’t bat the ball down, but on a third and 14 I’m not sure why he’d be expecting a quick pass.
Fields holds on to the ball a bit too long on this one, but he was trying to let someone get open downfield (it was 3rd and 14 after all), and that never happened. Maybe he could have looked to Williams in the left flat or Kmet on the quick out route to the right, but neither would have been enough to pick up the first down. I’d like to pin this sack allowed on Peters for the oddly timed cut attempts, but Fields somehow had time to dump it off. As fans we would have been screaming at our TV for him throwing short of the sticks, but sometimes that’s the right play. It’s certainly better than taking a sack.
Sack 10 - 2nd Quarter 3:48 - Myles Garrett
This sack came on a third and 6, which was one play after Ifedi jumped offsides on a 3rd and less than 1. It was a 3-3 game at this point, the Bears has already marched 24 yards on the drive, and they get a drive killing penalty followed by this sack.
Garrett was lined up in the Bears’ right B-Gap, and he easily beats right guard James Daniels, which spooks Fields to climb the pocket. Had Fields climbed it towards the right he may have been able to hit Kmet on the whip route, but since he drifted left there was no where to go with the ball. Garrett’s hustle cleans things up after Fields jukes a defender, but since it was Daniels that let the initial pressure through, I’m giving him this sack allowed.
Sack 11 - 3rd Quarter 14:52 - Takkarist McKinley and Malik Jackson
Another third and long after two incomplete passes to start the drive, and Fields is looking to get the ball downfield here.
It appears he could be thinking about the wide out down the right sideline — I think that’s Byrd — but Takkarist McKinley gets past Ifedi to get his hard on Fields’ right arm. The ball actually is jostled out of his grip for a fraction of a second. Defensive tackle Malik Jackson relentlessly worked up past both Montgomery and Daniels, so Fields had no where to go, but I think McKinley had things in hand without the split sack happening, so I’m pinning this sack on Ifedi.
Sack 12 - 3rd Quarter 8:45 - Myles Garrett
Garrett is such a fun player to watch, as he not only brings incredible athleticism and strength, but also tenacity on every play. Here he’s working on right guard Daniels, and while Daniels does a decent job in cutting him off and pushing him down the line, he hustles to trip up a scrambling Fields.
Fields was forced to leave the pocket from the pressure off the right edge, Ifedi was beat again, but Fields couldn’t outrun the big paws form Garrett. Had Fields escaped he probably picks up the first down, but since he didn’t I’ll put this in the sacks happen category for the shoelace tackle.
Sack 13 - 3rd Quarter 3:13 - Ronnie Harrison Jr.
The turf monster got Fields on this one, and with the way his legs buckled under him it could have been a lot worse than just the seventh sack of the day.
Even if Fields keeps his feet, I’m not sure he has a good window to pass the ball here. The Browns seemed ready for Kmet under the formation leaking out to the left, they had Jimmy Graham’s crosser covered, and neither wide receiver managed to get free. There was nothing Fields could do on this play, so this is another of those unfortunate sacks that just happen.
Sack 14 - 4th Quarter 10:08 - Myles Garrett
Garrett gets his last sack here, and this one could have been a missed line call by someone, because I can’t imagine any scenario where you’d want your 39-year old left tackle to check inside first before being responsible for Garrett off the edge. It’s a technique that has to be done on occasion, but with Peters vs Garrett?
I’m also not sure what the heck was happening on the right side either.
Garrett is on Fields so quick, but Ifedi lost McKinley off the edge too fast as well.
Kmet to the left is looking for the ball off the snap, and with the Browns threatening to bring 7, Fields could have fired it to him immediately. Sure it was a third and 9, but the Browns were showing a double A-Gap blitz and two guys off the right edge. Cleveland had two defensive backs covering the Bears trips to the left with a single high safety 12 yards deep.
But Fields was looking towards the right at Montgomery, who had he ran his angle route a bit crisper could have been wide open over the middle of the field. Once Fields’ first read wasn’t there he was running for his life.
Since I’m not sure how Fields was coached to read this based off the look the Browns gave, I’ll give the sack allowed to Peters, although whoever decided to give him a dual read should get slapped.
Geoff Schwartz breaks down the protection in this Tweet here.
Woke up this morning to long discussions about Empty Protection dual reads w/regards to the Bears-Browns game. So I made a little video explaining what happened. Peters did his job. The other side actually didn’t. But anyways, Browns set up the Bears OL for Garrett to rush free pic.twitter.com/cwC9ijGYpj— Geoff Schwartz (@geoffschwartz) September 29, 2021
Sack 15 - 4th Quarter 3:02 - Jadeveon Clowney
Clowney may have picked up his second sack on the afternoon, but this one was all about Garrett again.
Garrett flies around Peters and nearly beats Fields to the top of his drop, but somehow Chicago's rookie QB escapes his grasp, only to run backwards into the waiting arms of Clowney.
Garrett was a one man wrecking crew on Sunday, because he’s able to line up anywhere along the Browns’ d-line and win with speed, technique, power, and hustle.
Here’s the individual 2021 Sackwatch tally after 3 weeks:
Jason Peters - 4
Sacks happen - 2.5
Cody Whitehair - 2
Germain Ifedi - 2
Justin Fields - 2
James Daniels - 1.5
Sam Mustipher - .5
Cole Kmet - .5
Here’s where things have stood through after 3 games since the Mike Martz era:
2010 - 8 (Martz)
2011 - 14 (Martz)
2012 - 11 (Tice)
2013 - 3 (Trestman)
2014 - 7 (Trestman)
2015 - 6 (Gase)
2016 - 9 (Loggains)
2017 - 7 (Loggains)
2018 - 9 (Nagy)
2019 - 8 (Nagy)
2020 - 7 (Nagy)
2021 - 15 (Nagy)
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