The Chicago Bears used a couple of different combinations up front and mixed in both backup quarterbacks, but thanks to the conservative gameplan, and the Minnesota Vikings coasting to a victory, the Bears only allowed one sack on Sunday.
But Chicago ended the season leading the league with a sack percentage of 13.3, and the 58 sacks allowed was the fourth most in the NFL. A week ago, Justin Fields set the franchise record by getting sacked for a 55th time, which was tied with Denver’s Russell Wilson for most during the 2022 season, but Fields’ 14.7 sack percentage led the league by far.
The pass protection will be helped in 2023 by some new offensive linemen, but don’t discount what better weapons in the passing game will do too. Guys getting open quicker and Fields taking another step in his familiarity within the offense will also help the protection.
Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty!
Here's the historical Sackwatch:
Year - Sacks / O.C. / (sack%)
2010 - 56 Mike Martz (10.7%)
2011 - 49 Mike Martz (9.4%)
2012 - 45 Mike Tice (8.3%)
2013 - 30 Marc Trestman (4.9%)
2014 - 41 Marc Trestman (6.3%)
2015 - 33 Adam Gase (5.9%)
2016 - 27 Dowell Loggains (4.8%)
2017 - 39 Dowell Loggains (7.6%)
2018 - 33 Matt Nagy (6.1%)
2019 - 45 Matt Nagy (7.2%)
2020 - 36 Matt Nagy (5.5%)
2021 - 58 Nagy/Lazor (9.7%)
2022 - 58 Luke Getsy (13.3%)
Sack 58 - 1st Quarter 8:12 - Patrick Jones II
If you're like me, on the live watch of the game, it looked like this was going to be an easy sack to find blame for. But upon further review, there was another player at fault too.
Minnesota’s left edge rusher, Danielle Hunter (#99), worked around right tackle Riley Reiff, and that’s where I thought the sack came from, but Patrick Jones II (#91) is the defender that picked up this sack. Jones pushed right guard Larry Borom back, then ripped under the block to get to the quarterback.
Reiff shuffles to cut off the edge and guide Hunter around quarterback Nathan Peterman, but it’s not deep enough, and Hunter gets his hand on the QB. Peterman slips the tackle attempt just enough to get sacked by Jones. But even if Jones didn’t beat Borom, Hunter was completely past Reiff and in a position to get the sack himself.
Jones gets full credit on the sack because he was quickest to Peterman, but I’ll split the sack allowed on Reiff and Borom because both were beat.
Here's the final individual 2022 Sackwatch tally after all 17 games:
Justin Fields - 13
Sacks Happen - 12.5
Braxton Jones - 10.5
Larry Borom - 4.5
Cody Whitehair - 3
Riley Reiff - 2.5
Lucas Patrick - 2
Sam Mustipher - 2
Michael Schofield III - 1.5
Teven Jenkins - 1.5
Dieter Eiselen - 1
Trevor Siemian - 1
Cole Kmet - 1
Alex Leatherwood - 1
David Montgomery - .5
Khalil Herbert - .5
I got some help from Jeff Berckes last year to compile all the Sackwatch data through the 2021 season, so you can check that out here for some more perspective.
Thanks to all of you guys that check out Sackwatch each week! I appreciate the support!