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Chicago Bears Sackwatch 2023: Week 6 vs Minnesota Vikings

Five more sacks allowed by the Bears this week, so let’s see where the blame lies...

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

I'm out on Luke Getsy. I thought he found a good flow for his offense during weeks four and five, but after having extra time to prepare for the Minnesota Vikings, he rolled out an uninspiring dud of a game plan. He had to know he'd be facing a blitz-happy defense, but neither he nor his players appeared ready for it. Where was the max protect? Why so many straight dropbacks? Where were the blitz beaters? Why so much shotgun?

Just a pitiful excuse for a game plan and poor execution by his players.

Sack 21 - 1st Quarter 14:53 - D.J. Wonnum
Once the pass protection is set, the free blitzer is the quarterback's responsibility. On this play, the Bears were sliding right, likely based on who they identified as the Mike linebacker. That meant D.J. Wonnum was free off the left edge. If Justin Fields didn't want his line to slide right, then he's allowed to change the protection the other way. If Fields is dead set on reading the right side, then he could have slid protection left, which would have meant the right edge would have been free.

Fields was oblivious to the free rusher on this play. Had he been aware, he either would have immediately fired the football to one of the two hitch routes on the right, or he would have set to throw left and faced the blitz head-on.

The Vikes were giving all the Chicago Bears receivers a 10-yard cushion, so I don't know why there wasn't a hot read. A quicker in/out or a slant would have worked. A zero route, turn and throw to the left is wide open here, too. That's a sight adjustment that should be built in here based on the look from the Vikings.

There was just so much bad on the first play of the game, which set the tone for the whole afternoon, but this one is on Fields.

Sack 22 - 1st Quarter 12:12 - Danielle Hunter
A bad snap from Cody Whitehair starts this play, which gets Fields off time. You'd think he could have hit Cole Kmet, but he had a guy in his face as soon as he gathered himself. The Vikings ran a stunt against Chicago's left side, and the Bears weren't ready to pick it up. Left guard Teven Jenkins is still relatively new to the position, but he must know in pass protection, he needs to give ground and not attack.

With Jenkins moving laterally and drive-blocking his guy (#0 Marcus Davenport), he's not in a position to accept the edge rusher looping around. Left tackle Larry Borom was anticipating the stunt, and he took Davenport, but Jenkins was off balance and fell.

While it was Danielle Hunter who chased Fields down for the sack, it was Jenkins' mistake that blew this play up, so this one is on him.

Sack 23 - 2nd Quarter 14:13 - Harrison Phillips
The dreaded zero-yard sack. Fields takes the shotgun snap (a good one this time), gets to the top of his drop while reading the trips side (right), but has nowhere to go with the ball. There's some pressure from his right, but it comes after he's set and scanning his reads. He feels it and takes off up the middle but is tackled at the line of scrimmage.

Robert Tonyan (who shifted from the backfield) is running a variation of a whip route, but he's not quick enough to shake loose. It looks like Fields wants to go to Darnell Mooney, who ran to the back of the end zone before cutting in, but he's a bit slow out of his break. The running back in the left flat was an option, but I can't fault Fields for thinking he had a better chance sneaking through the line. This zero-yard gain is a sacks happen.

Sack 24 - 3rd Quarter 10:43 - Danielle Hunter
This was the play in which Fields dislocated his thumb. Fields set to throw after taking another decent snap, has time to climb the pocket, but then some late pressure leaks after a spin inside off Borom's block. Maybe he should have fired the ball to Darnell Mooney running down the hash, or maybe he should have tried to hit DJ Moore coming across the middle. He decided to escape to the left but didn't make it.

Fields tried to flip it to his running back (or chuck it out of bounds) to avoid the sack, but Hunter got him.

The windows for Mooney or Moore were tight, but better anticipation from Fields, and he probably fires the ball to one of them. He also could have flipped to his back or out of bounds a tick sooner to avoid the sack... so this one is on Fields.

Sack 25 - 3rd Quarter 6:58 - Josh Metellus
This is the first-ever sack of the Tyson Bagent era, and in typical Bears fashion, it's marred by several mistakes.

Whitehair tells Jenkins something here, and then it looks like he says something again right before he poorly snaps the ball. Both Jenkins and Borom seem to be on the same page. Unfortunately, that is the wrong page. They misunderstood the call on this as both kicked two gaps over to pass block, leaving defensive tackle Harrison Phillips (#97) unblocked. No scheme is designed to leave a 307-pound interior rusher free.

Minnesota sent six, but the Bears had seven in to block. Double tight ends to the right for Hunter off the edge. Tonyan with a check release, and Cole Kmet to try to clean it up. Right tackle Darnell Wright had the man in the C-gap. They likely ID'ed #58 as the Mike, and with four Vikings to Chicago's right, if he blitzed, he would have been picked up by right guard Ja'Tyre Carter. Cody to the right side A-gap, and everything from middle-right was covered.

Running back Darrynton Evans comes across the formation to pick up the blitzing safety off the left edge, Josh Metellus (#44), but he has to stop when he realizes no one blocked Phillips. He overshoots him, Bagent evades him, and in the ensuing scramble, Metellus shakes free and strips the ball away.

How both Jenkins and Borom both missed the call blows me away. Did Whitehir say it wrong? Did Jenkins relay it wrong to Borom? Was this really the scheme, and Evans' responsibility was the big DT?

This wasn't the first time the offensive line's blocking scheme befuddled me, so I have to wonder what o-line coach Chris Morgan is teaching his guys.

Sacks happen here because I have no idea which bozo(s) screwed this up.

Here's the individual Sackwatch tally after six games:

Justin Fields - 9
Sacks Happen - 5
Darnell Wright - 2.5
Ja'Tyre Carter - 2
Braxton Jones - 2
Larry Borom - 1
Cody Whitehair - 1
Khari Blasingame - 1
Teven Jenkins - 1
Cole Kmet - .5

As I've often said, the breakdowns are based on my best guesses on what is happening in each play. Only the Bears know the specifics and where the blame truly lies for each sack allowed.

And here are the total Bears' sacks allowed through Week 6 in the Sackwatch 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
2023 - 25 Getsy