The Chicago Bears allowed 4 sacks on Monday Night Football against the New England Patriots, all in the second quarter, and normally the anticipation of a 4 breakdown Sackwatch is a downer, but the final score had me in a better mood this week. It’s still a chore, but an offensive performance like that makes me think the arrow is pointing up on the franchise.
They still lead the league with 27 sacks allowed through seven weeks, and their 16.6 sack percentage is near the all-time worst mark of 16.8%, which was set by the 1986 Philadelphia Eagles when they were sacked an incredible 104 times.
Here's this week's Sackwatch.
Sack 24 - 2nd Quarter 13:01 - Mack Wilson Sr. and Matthew Judon
“Just throw it away,” ESPN analyst Troy Aikman said during the broadcast about this sack that Justin Fields took. “You don’t lose the yardage, and you don’t get hit.”
Sure it was a third down play, so Fields is likely focused on doing something to keep the drive alive, but sometimes there simply isn’t a play to make. This one is completely on Fields because even though he didn’t have anyone open enough to throw to, he has to be aware of the situation and save himself and the yards lost and just chuck it out of bounds.
Sack 25 - 2nd Quarter 2:33 - Matthew Judon
Judon and the Patriots’ defense sniffed this one out, and Fields had nowhere to go with the ball after the fake. Tight end Cole Kmet was likely going to sneak into the flat for a dump-off after coming under, but the New England defensive lineman (#93 Lawrence Guy Sr.) sees Kmet coming, and he peels off.
Fields does a nice job of evading the free-rushing Judon, but the Pats' defense flowed with the bootleg and took away any passing windows. Fields makes it to the sideline, and he puts the ball out to gain as many yards as possible, but this one officially went for a 0-yard gain, which makes it a sack.
I’ll go Sacks Happen on this one since New England took all of Chicago’s options away, and even if Fields would have flipped the ball out of bounds to avoid the sack stat, there was no loss of yards on this play anyway.
Sack 26 - 2nd Quarter 1:26 - Matthew Judon
My first glance of this play and I was going to pin the sack allowed on right tackle Larry Borom, who had a rough night against Judon. But then the All-22 came out, and I had to wonder why Fields didn’t let it rip to Equanimeous St. Brown on the slant to his left.
The only thing I could think that gives him pause is the Mike (#48 Jahlani Tavai) looking to jump the route, but Fields has the arm strength to push that ball into the window. This is a throw he has to make.
But don’t take my word for it, here’s The QB School’s J.T. O’Sullivan breaking down the play.
Justin Fields with a sack on Dragon that cannot happen. A few things can help here, IMO, 1) JF's eyes are late, 2) grip and rip, no laces, and 3) one step or quicken up feet. Either way, it's there and he's gotta throw it. #DaBears— The QB School (@theqbschool) October 25, 2022
Full video: https://t.co/roZbWMTMoH pic.twitter.com/VH484mDgpM
So Fields is getting some blame for this one, but I can’t let Borom off the hook. If he doesn’t get beat in less than 2 seconds, Fields can work back to the middle of the field and hit David Montgomery.
Sack 27 - 2nd Quarter :31 - Anfernee Jennings
Two plays later and another sack, and just like the previous sack, Borom gives up the inside gap to a pass rusher. This time, Anfernee Jennings powered through with an inside move, and he bowled over right guard Teven Jenkins whose momentum was working to his inside a-gap to help his center. With the way New England was lined up, Borom had Jennings, and he should have cut off his inside gap.
Borom just leaned on his guy, and that wasn’t enough to slow the rush, which allowed Jennings to dive and get a piece of Fields’ foot, which knocked him off stride, which caused him to stumble and knee the ball out of his hands. Once Fields fumbled, Jennings was credited with the sack, but it was Judon that hustled in to tackle Fields.
It's not a good look with Jenkins getting knocked back, but he was off balance after delivering a blow to his inside and not prepared for Borom to get beat so quickly, so this one is all on Borom.
Here's the individual Sackwatch tally after 7 weeks:
Justin Fields - 9
Sacks Happen - 5.5
Braxton Jones - 4.5
Larry Borom - 4
Lucas Patrick - 2
Sam Mustipher - 1.5
Khalil Herbert - .5
Historical Sackwatch after 7 games:
2010 - 31 Martz
2011 - 21 Martz
2012 - 25 Tice
2013 -11 Trestman
2014 - 17 Trestman
2015 - 13 Gase
2016 - 13 Loggains
2017 - 17 Loggains
2018 - 16 Nagy
2019 - 19 Nagy
2020 - 15 Nagy
2021 - 26 Nagy
2022 - 27 Getsy
Thanks to all of you guys that check out Sackwatch each week!