The pass protection of the Chicago Bears had their best day of the season on Sunday against the Las Vegas Raiders. They did a nice job helping on the edges, they mixed in some well-timed screen passes, they moved the pocket, and the ball was coming out quickly.
Being able to pound the Raiders in the run game helped keep their pass rushers off balance, and of course, playing with a lead is always a benefit for a pass pro.
Chicago started their sixth different offensive line combination this season with Teven Jenkins back at right guard and Cody Whitehair slotted in at left guard. These two only allowed one pressure between them, per Pro Football Focus. Center Lucas Patrick only allowed two pressures, so quarterback Tyson Bagent had a decent pocket most of the afternoon in his first start.
When watching the game live, I thought there was only one sack to break down, but a peek at the stat sheet revealed a second.
Let's get down to the nitty-gritty!
Sack 26 - 2nd Quarter :15 - Maxx Crosby
Maxx Crosby is a fantastic pass rusher with a wide variety of moves, and the Bears did a nice job on him most of the day. Right tackle Darnell Wright gives up the quick inside pressure on this, which breaks the play down, but Wright was playing with an ailing left shoulder.
I'm surprised the Raiders didn't attack his inside gap more often, but here's the sack.
This may have been an E-T stunt from the Raiders, but Wright stayed with Crosby down the line too far instead of passing him off to right guard Teven Jenkins. With Crosby coming from a wide nine technique, Wright may not have been expecting a stunt, or it may not have been a stunt at all, and Crosby was just looking for a rush angle.
Last week, we saw Jenkins not get depth on his pass set, which resulted in him not being ready for a pass-off from the left tackle, and he's too close to the line of scrimmage here, too. If Jenkins has depth, then perhaps Wright tries to pass Crosby off, but then again, I'm not entirely sure how the Bears are coached to handle this look (or if it's a designed stunt).
Wright does try to pass Crosby off late, but he's past his right guard, so I'm not sure who he was giving the defender to.
I'll give this one to Wright, but I'd put an asterisk next to Jenkins.
Here's some of Wright favoring his shoulder.
Just an incredible effort from #Bears rookie RT Darnell Wright. Especially considering the amount of reps vs top 5 EDGE Maxx Crosby. Wright was basically playing with his left hand tied behind his back. The first two reps here show no real ability to protect his inside shoulder. pic.twitter.com/wLzWT4GkBv— Quinten Krzysko (@ButkusStats) October 24, 2023
Sack 27 - 2nd Quarter :02 - Tyree Wilson
This was the hail mary to end the half, and Nathan Peterman is hit while his arm is cocked, resulting in a strip sack from Wilson. The ball fluttered out of bounds, so it didn't hurt the Bears, but this was a dumb play all around.
Leaving the pocket seems to be the design because the uncovered center runs that way as a personal protector for Peterman, but Chicago's left side should have enticed their defenders to take an inside rush, which would make sealing them off from pursuing the QB easier.
Lucas Patrick put his hands up so he wouldn't get caught for a blindside block, but he could have boxed the defended out better.
Regardless, this was a dumb play, with a dumb design, and pointless to a hail Mary anyway, so I'll put it in the sacks happen category.
Here's the individual Sackwatch tally after seven games:
Justin Fields - 9
Sacks Happen - 6
Darnell Wright - 3.5
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 7 in the Sackwatch era:
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
2023 - 27 Getsy