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Chicago Bears Sackwatch 2022: Week 6 vs Washington Commanders

We break down the five sacks the Bears allowed last week against the Commanders.

NFL: Washington Commanders at Chicago Bears Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

The poster child for young quarterbacks getting ruined by being sacked too often early in their career is David Carr from the Houston Texans. During his first two years with the expansion Texans (2002-2003), he was sacked 11% of the time while appearing in 28 games. So far, in 18 career games, Chicago Bears' second-year quarterback Justin Fields has been sacked 13.3% of the time.

Carr's sack percentage improved from 14.6% to 4.8% from his rookie to sophomore season, while Fields' is at 16.7% in 2022 after being 11.8% as a rookie.

Houston's pass protection went back to being horrific in 04 and 05, making it difficult for Carr to develop properly, which is the same fear many Bears' fans have about the trends we're seeing in Chicago.

We talked a little about the Bears' alarming pass protection and roster holes on our latest Bear & Balanced, so if you've yet to check that out, you can watch the video here or listen to the podcast version here.

Here are the total sacks allowed by Chicago through Week 6 going back to the Mike Martz era:

2010 - 27 Martz
2011 - 19 Martz
2012 - 19 Tice
2013 - 9 Trestman
2014 - 14 Trestman
2015 - 12 Gase
2016 - 12 Loggains
2017 - 13 Loggains
2018 - 14 Nagy
2019 - 15 Nagy
2020 - 11 Nagy
2021 - 22 Nagy
2022 - 23 Getsy

Here's this week's Sackwatch.

Sack 19 - 1st Quarter 12:40 - Ele Obada
This was an easy one. My initial thought watching the game live was that Fields held the ball too long. The Amazon Prime replay confirmed that, and then looking at the All-22 hammered it home. Amazon's Kirk Herbstreit drew up what Fields should have done on Thursday night.

The Bears' haven't received pass protection this good very often this season, so it's frustrating that they squandered the opportunity. The open receiver Fields seemingly didn't want to fire the ball to was Darnell Mooney, which makes this even more frustrating. With as much extra work that #1 and #11 have put in, you'd think they'd be able to connect on a play like this.

Fields has now started 16 games in the NFL, so his understanding of a pass catcher being college-open and professional-open should be coming into focus.

It's fair to think that the lack of talent around him has him hesitating or questioning what he sees, but he's just got to trust his instincts and rip it when these chances present themselves.

Sack 20 - 1st Quarter 11:51 - Daron Payne
Two plays after that first sack, Fields is dropped again on this third and 19. Defensive lineman Daron Payne (#94) gets this sack after working against right tackle Larry Borom, but I can't fault Borom on this one. Washington ran a stunt with him while the Bears were trying to set up a screen to running back David Montgomery.

Fields was sacked on this slow-developing screen pass, so was it a poorly designed play, some unfortunate timing by Chicago's players, or a good play by Washington's defense?

Since it's a screen, there's really only one primary receiver, and when #55 (Cole Holcomb) sniffs it out, Fields has nowhere to go with the ball. This one is a Sacks Happen.

Sack 21 - 2nd Quarter :46 - Kamren Curl
This was a run out of bounds for zero yards by Fields, so yes, it's technically a sack, but Fields wanted to get out of bounds to stop the clock with under a minute to go in the half. So I'm not going to fault him for that. But I will knock him for holding on to the ball too long.

There's some pressure for sure, but it comes after Fields hits the top of his drop, after he has a target over the middle, and after about 3 seconds have elapsed.

This was a first down from their own 25-yard line, but they had all three time-outs available, so working the middle of the field was an option. Fields has to know the situation and take what's in front of him. This one is on the QB1.

Sack 22 - 4th Quarter 11:21 - Montez Sweat
The Bears had a third and one here, and the pass protection broke down in a few spots, but the initial fail came from rookie left tackle Braxton Jones. Defensive end Montez Sweat (#90) chops Jones' left hand down, and it topples him like a three-legged table.

Fields is able to elude Sweat, but there's another Commander in his face because right guard Teven Jenkins missed #96 (James Smith-Williams) after he was slowed up by a Cole Kmet pop and release. Jenkins was about to help inside, and he didn't see the defensive end shooting through the b-gap until it was too late. Fields slipped the tackle attempt from Smith-Williams, but Sweat kept working to get the sack.

Since the second pressure doesn't get to Fields until he's already in full scramble mode, I'm giving this one to Jones, but if I was grading this play Jenkins would get a minus.

Sack 23 - 4th Quarter 1:49 - Jonathan Allen
The Bears have some momentum after a missed Commanders field goal, but they allow a sack on the next play. Left guard Lucas Patrick has no answer for Jonathan Allen. I don't even know what Patrick is trying to do here.

Allen lines up in the b-gap; Patrick steps outside to close the gap, but then he lunges and stops moving his feet. Allen swims over the top, tightly turns the corner, and separates Fields from the football with a sack. Patrick gets the blame for this one.

Here's the individual Sackwatch tally after 6 weeks:

Justin Fields - 7.5
Braxton Jones - 4.5
Sacks Happen - 4.5
Larry Borom - 2.5
Lucas Patrick - 2
Sam Mustipher - 1.5
Khalil Herbert - .5

Thanks to all of you guys that check out Sackwatch each week!