Justin Fields has been sacked five times through two games for the Chicago Bears, which isn’t that awful of a number when considering Joe Burrow (13), Jameis Winston (10), Mathew Stafford (8), Daniel Jones (8) and six other QBs have all been sacked more this season.
But when you look at the sack percentage, the Bears lead the league by far. Fields has been dropped on 15.7% of his pass attempts, which is more than Burrow’s 12.7%. The Bears gave up three sacks to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday Night in a game where Fields only attempted 11 passes.
I’d assume the Bears will call a few more dropbacks next week against the Houston Texans, so hopefully, that percentage starts to come down as the efficiency of their passing game picks up.
We’re doing a video version of Sackwatch this year, with a bonus play breakdown on something positive from the Bears, and you can check that out right here on our 2nd City Gridiron channel.
Read on for my traditional Sackwatch breakdown...
Sack 3 - 2nd Quarter 14:47 - Preston Smith
Some fans see Preston Smith get home on a sack like this and immediately look for who gave it up. Smith was lined up against left tackle Braxton Jones, but I can’t fault Jones for this one. Jones does his job here. He has a quick bit of help from tight end Cole Kmet, who redirected Smith to the outside, and then he engaged Smith and rode him around the pocket.
This was a first and ten play, so just take what the defense gives you in this situation, and what the defense gave Justin Fields was a quick hitter to the right flat. The bullrush pressure from Rashan Gary over right tackle Larry Borom spooked him into a scramble, but once he cleared Gary’s rush he could have flipped it to Montgomery.
That’s the read he could have made in this situation, but...
In hindsight, it’s probably a good idea he didn’t cock his arm to do that because he had no way of knowing that Smith was bearing down from behind. Had he tried that pass Smith likely chops down on Fields’ arm for the strip sack.
This is an unfortunate sack that just happens sometimes when a QB leaves the pocket, but I can’t give Borom a full pass here, so I’m splitting this between the sacks happen category and Borom.
Sack 4 - 3rd Quarter 14:24 - Rashan Gary
It took him a few years to come into his own, but Gary has become one of the better edge defenders in the NFL. He’s stout against the run, but his pass rush arsenal has improved over the years too. His first step quickness helped him to a couple of tackles for loss on Sunday night, and his power led to these first two sacks the Bears allowed.
On this sack, Gary got home after walking Borom back into Fields’ lap after a running start from a wide-9 technique. It’s a tough ask of Borom to anchor here, because he also has to be light on his feet in case Gary tries to get around him. A chip for a redirect from the tight end could have made this an easier block for Borom, but right tackles in the NFL are often on an island, and the Bears expect Borom to make this block.
Sack 5 - 4th Quarter 13:31 - Preston Smith
Smith gets another one here, and this was due to the disciplined nature he showed on this play. Backside defensive ends need to stay home in case of a bootleg, but not all of them do. Smith is unblocked by design because the hope is he crashes inside on the run fake, which would allow Fields to get outside.
Besides showing good contain by not falling for the fake, Smith also contains the scramble by moving upfield towards Fields’ outside shoulder. Had Smith attacked Fields directly then he may have been able to spin out and dart to the left, but Smith made sure to take that path away. Fields slipping was unfortunate, but Smith played this perfectly and this one is a sacks happen.
Here’s the individual Sackwatch tally after 2 weeks:
Braxton Jones - 2
Larry Borom - 1.5
Sacks Happen - 1.5
And here are the total Bears’ sacks allowed through Week 2 going back to the Mike Martz era:
2010 Sacks - 5 (Martz)
2011 Sacks - 11 (Martz)
2012 Sacks - 9 (Tice)
2013 Sacks - 1 (Trestman)
2014 Sacks - 3 (Trestman)
2015 Sacks - 4 (Gase)
2016 Sacks - 8 (Loggains)
2017 Sacks - 5 (Loggains)
2018 Sacks - 6 (Nagy)
2019 Sacks - 5 (Nagy)
2020 Sacks - 5 (Nagy)
2021 Sacks - 6 (Nagy)
2022 Sacks - 5 (Getsy)