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Chicago Bears Sackwatch 2023: Week 10 vs Carolina Panthers


Carolina Panthers v Chicago Bears Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

The Tyson Bagent experience could be over (for now) if Justin Fields is cleared to play football for the Chicago Bears, and based on everything we've been hearing, that will happen. Bagent played about as well as a rookie undrafted free agent could, but some are incapable of seeing his play for what it is.

Some want to tear down Bagent's play to ensure their favorite QB1 is solely in the spotlight, while others hype up every play the UDFA made because they've moved on from #1.

I'm a fan of whoever is quarterbacking my favorite team and will cheer for that guy to win games.

I enjoyed watching Bagent get his chance, and while his journey is just starting, he's already overcome the odds. He went from Shepherd University, playing against the Colorado School of Mines to the Bears, and starting four games as a rookie. He's thrown and ran for touchdowns, helped his team win a couple of games, and proven he belongs on an NFL roster.

He played quick with his reads and tried to be smart with the ball, which limited the potential for big plays, but it also limited the sacks he took. That’s a stark contrast to Fields. Bagent's sack percentage is a league-low 3.4%, while Fields is second highest at 12.9%.

Bagent's willingness to get it out quickly also attributed to his 31st-ranked yards gained per attempt (6.0) and yards gained per completion (9.1). For those curious, Fields is in the top ten in both categories (7.4/12.0).

Bagent’s arm strength is something he may never be able to overcome, but his ability to process quickly, and play within a system will keep him in the league for a long time.

There’s more big play potential from Fields, but we’ve yet to see it on a consistent basis. The sacks are an issue, but the escapability he brings can offset the negatives if he’s moving the chains. He and offensive coordinator Luke Getsy seem to be at odds on gameday, but if they can find a balance, I would not be shocked to see him finish strong.

Fields' season hasn't gone as he hoped, but barring another injury, he'll have seven more games to make a statement. I currently don't see a path for him back to Chicago in 2024, but stranger things have happened in the NFL, so let's see how it plays out.

As for the Bears' offensive line, they should be getting Nate Davis back soon, which will strengthen their interior. Davis went through some personal issues early on, but he’s a good football player who played well before the ankle sprain. Braxton Jones looked solid at left tackle last week, and rookie right tackle Darnell Wright has not disappointed. Teven Jenkins is a baller no matter which guard spot he’s at, and while I still have concerns at center, Lucas Patrick has played better than Cody Whitehair.

Here's the individual Sackwatch tally after ten games:

Justin Fields - 9
Sacks Happen - 7
Darnell Wright - 3.5
Cody Whitehair - 2
Ja'Tyre Carter - 2
Braxton Jones - 2
Larry Borom - 2
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.

Historical Sackwatch after ten games:

2010 - 37 Martz
2011 - 23 Martz
2012 - 34 Tice
2013 - 16 Trestman
2014 - 24 Trestman
2015 - 18 Gase
2016 - 22 Loggains
2017 - 25 Loggains
2018 - 19 Nagy
2019 - 30 Nagy
2020 - 25 Nagy
2021 - 36 Nagy
2022 - 36 Getsy
2023 - 30 Getsy

Thanks to all of you guys who check out Sackwatch each week!