The Chicago Bears' sacks allowed numbers have dropped significantly with Tyson Bagent in at quarterback while Justin Fields has been sidelined with a thumb injury. Taking into account just the 2023 qualified passers, there are only two quarterbacks that have been sacked less frequently than Bagent's 4.3%: Josh Allen (3.9%) and Patrick Mahomes (3.5%). On the flip side, only one QB has been sacked at a higher percentage than Fields' 12.9%: Daniel Jones (15.8%).
More disturbing than the sacks allowed this season has been the inconsistency from Luke Getsy's schemes and playcalling. Whenever he stumbles on something that works, he overthinks it and stops doing it.
We saw it while he was calling plays for Fields, and now we've seen it while he's been calling plays for Bagent.
A good run game helps any QB, not only a UDFA rookie, and in turn, so does play action and a moving pocket. Bagent and the Bears offense was playing well on Sunday in New Orleans, but in the second half, Getsy changed it up.
According to Pro Football Focus, Baget was 7 of 7 for 110 yards with 2 TDs, 0 interceptions, and a 158.3 passer rating on play-action passes. Yet in the second half, the Bears kept Bagent in the pocket more, and they only ran the ball 12 times. Head coach Matt Eberflus said the team's execution wasn't as good in the second half, which, to me, points to the coaching staff's inability to adjust.
I don't want to dive into Sackwatch on a negative, so here's an interesting stat I found while looking over the numbers today. While Fields' sack percentage is second worst, his touchdown percentage is second best (6.8%), behind only Denver's Russell Wilson (6.9%).
Here's how I saw the sacks allowed this week.
Sack 29 - 2nd Quarter :49 - Cameron Jordan
A play-action pass here in the last minute of the half, and the New Orleans Saints had everything covered up pretty well. If Bagent stays in the pocket a tick longer, he may have had his receiver in the middle of the field work back to him, but that would have needed to be a laser of a throw.
Bagent saw a little crease on this second-and-nine play and thought he could squeak through, but once he stepped up, right tackle Darnell Wright lost leverage on Cameron Jordan, and Jordan made the play.
It isn't Wright's fault that Jordan slipped the block, so this is a Sacks Happen.
Sack 30 - 4th Quarter 2:16 - Demario Davis
Left guard Cody Whitehair took linebacker Demario Davis initially but sensed a stunt coming and passed him off to left tackle Larry Borom. Cody accepts Borom's guy, but Borom wasn't in position to take Davis.
On the snap, Borom does have his inside hand out as if he's anticipating a stunt, but the spacing from New Orleans' edge, #96 (Carl Granderson), drew his attention outside.
This was such a well-timed play by the Saints that it's a difficult ask for Borom to pick up the stunt, but he's got to feel the threat of his guy starting inside and be aware of a pass-off coming back to him.
This was essentially a pick by Davis to free up Granderson, but Davis had no resistance. He bounced off Borom and picked up the strip sack.
Here's the individual Sackwatch tally after nine 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 nine games:
2010 - 34 Martz
2011 - 23 Martz
2012 - 28 Tice
2013 - 14 Trestman
2014 - 24 Trestman
2015 - 16 Gase
2016 - 18 Loggains
2017 - 24 Loggains
2018 - 18 Nagy
2019 - 27 Nagy
2020 - 23 Nagy
2021 - 33 Nagy
2022 - 33 Getsy
2023 - 30 Getsy
Thanks to all of you guys who check out Sackwatch each week!