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Chicago Bears Sackwatch 2022: Week 3 vs Houston Texans

Lester’s 2022 Sackwatch is adding a video breakdown to the party with a bonus play spotlight of something that went well for the Bears!

NFL: Houston Texans at Chicago Bears Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

That was an ugly Sunday of pass protection by the Chicago Bears against the Houston Texans, but not nearly as awful as last year's week three contest against the Browns. I have five sacks allowed this week to break down, so let's get down to business.

We're doing a video version of Sackwatch this year, with a bonus play breakdown on something positive from the Bears (the 52-yard scamper from Herbert!), and you can check that out right here and on our 2nd City Gridiron channel at some point.


But read on for my traditional Sackwatch breakdown...

Sack 6 - 2nd Quarter 15:00 - Jerry Hughes
Hughes gets credit for this sack for jumping on Justin Fields after he tripped and fell over his left tackle, Braxton Jones. It wasn't the cleanest block from Jones, but he does manage to stay in front of Hughes, which should have given his QB a chance. Had Fields taken a deeper escape path, he likely avoids Jones' feet and is fast enough to run away from Hughes.

Ultimately I have to hit Jones with some of the blame here. While he does keep his body between Hughes and his quarterback, the inside bullrush does push him back into the pocket too quickly.

Getting his feet tangled up is unfortunate, but Fields could have shown more awareness and moved to avoid his rookie left tackle. I was torn between Sacks Happen and FIelds for where to give the other half of this one... but my final tally is half to Jones and half to Fields.

Sack 7 - 2nd Quarter 2:00 - Jerry Hughes
This time Hughes was working on the other side against right tackle Larry Borom, and he did a similar move to the one that got him the first sack. Hughes drives into Borom, but Chicago's right tackle can't stay with the defender when he moves inside. Hughes slips the block and is free to chase the QB for the sack.

This sack allowed is completely on Borom because Hughes was the first Texan to get home here, but look at defensive tackle Maliek Collins on right guard Lucas Patrick. Collins swims past him with no resistance. If Collins were a little quicker, he'd have split this sack, and I'd have split the sack allowed.

Sack 8 - 2nd Quarter :19 - Jonathan Greenard and Rasheem Green
First off, this is the dreaded 0-yard sack. I've been complaining about this for over a decade because a sack is, by definition, a negative play that happens when a quarterback is tackled BEHIND the line of scrimmage after dropping back to pass. Since there is no loss in yards, this should be a 0-yard scramble, not a sack.


The ball was snapped with 19 seconds left in the half, so no matter what happened, the Bears had pissed away any chance at getting into field goal range by not taking a time out at the end of the previous play. I rant a little about that in this week's Bear & Balanced (video here, podcast here).

Justin Fields does have a pocket to throw from here, but it seems like he made up his mind to run this one. Once he decided to get some yards up the middle with his feet, that shook the defenders loose from their blocks, and Greenard and Green converged for the sack.

This sack is allowed on Fields.

Fields may have thought that his left tackle wouldn't hold, but Jones did lock on to Highes, and he stopped his rush.

What makes it worse is he did have some places to go with the ball. Cole Kmet curls up to Fields' left, and a throw towards the hash pulls Kmet away from the hook defender.

Once the Texan linebacker clears to cover running back Khalil Herbert to the right flat, there's a window to hit Equanimeous St. Brown, who was coming across the middle from the right.

Had he stayed in the pocket, there was a big play shot opportunity down the left sideline in the hole to Dante Pettis.

Sack 9 - 4th Quarter 7:17 - Derek Stingley Jr.
Another 0-yard sack here, but I guess I should be happy this wasn't the even more annoying 'run out of bounds for a loss in yards play' that I've had to break down so many times through the years.

Fields does feel a little pressure, but when he gets to the top of his drop, he has his running back and tight end about to cross right him front of him with just one defender in the general area. The pass protection from his left tackle holds, but Fields was in a dead sprint looking for yards with his legs.

Had Fields held in the pocket a tick longer, he would have been able to flick the ball to either Kmet or Herbert, so I got to give this one to Fields as well.

Sack 10 - 4th Quarter 2:17 - Jalen Pitre
Pitre capped off an outstanding statistical game with a sack, but he needs to give a nod to Lovie Smith for a perfect play call here.

The Bears fake a run to the left with the thought to bootleg Fields back out to the right, but Pitre was keying on the mesh point between Fields and Herbert on his blitz, and the fake didn't fool him at all. This was just an unfortunately timed blitz call by Lovie and a Sacks Happen.

Here's the individual Sackwatch tally after 3 weeks:

Braxton Jones - 2.5
Justin Fields - 2.5
Larry Borom - 2.5
Sacks Happen - 2.5

And here are the total Bears' sacks allowed through Week 3:

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)
2022 - 10 (Getsy)