The Chicago Bears got out of Kansas City after allowing a season-high in points (41), total yards (456), rushing yards (153), first downs (31), and third-down conversions (71.4%), but they allowed a season-low three sacks.
When you cheer for a winless team, you have to take the little positives and revel in them.
The big picture is after three weeks, the Bears have been sacked 13 times, which is tied for second most in the NFL, and they're getting sacked 12.9% of attempted passes, which is the third highest.
Pass protection continues to be a problem for this team.
Here's how I had the sacks this week.
Sack 11 - 1st Quarter 10:28 - Drue Tranquill and George Karlaftis
Before I get into this breakdown, let's just get it out of the way that I'm giving this one to right guard Ja'Tyre Carter. He was walked back too quickly, and that pressure sent Justin Fields scrambling to the line of scrimmage for a 0-yard sack. Carter has played well in his two games, but this was a bad rep.
Now for the breakdown... Based on the Chiefs' defensive alignment, the Bears had the left tackle and guard take the men to their left, they had tight end Cole Kmet in on the right to chip on the widest defender and then release, and running back Khalil Herbert came across the formation to check on a possible blitzer before leaking through and curling up.
With two extra blockers on the right, that meant center Lucas Patrick was free to help with the first A-gap pressure, and while he checked right, he also knew that Chris Jones was to the left. Jones quickly jumped across left guard Cody Whitehair to the inside, and Patrick helped.
I want you to remember the Bears being mindful of the All-Pro on this next breakdown.
Sack 12 - 1st Quarter 3:18 - Chris Jones
Jones is a four-time Pro Bowler who has 65 sacks in his first seven years with the Chiefs, and after sitting out their first game this season, he's racked up 2.5 in two weeks.
He's a game wrecker.
The 6'6", 310-pounder is a cheat code for defensive coordinators because he can line up anywhere along the defensive line. These days, he does most of his damage from defensive tackle in Steve Spagnuolo's four-man front, but on this play, he was lined up way outside at defensive end to work on Chicago rookie right tackle Darnell Wright.
And he simply beat the rook.
Wright looks like he was setting for a power rush, and Jones slipped it and won with speed.
"He's probably the best person I've ever gone against," Wright said of Jones after the game.
There's no shame in losing this rep, but where was Chicago's awareness of Jones on this play?
With Carter (RG) immediately turning to help on the nose tackle, that tells me this protection plan was for the back to check linebacker through the right B-gap before releasing.
Okay... but as soon as the Bears saw it was Chris "Freakin" Jones on the edge, they should have had the back work in that direction and had Carter stay home for the linebacker that was walked up over him.
I suppose it says a lot that the Bears were comfortable letting the rookie right tackle take Jones one-on-one. But come on. This is his third-ever start, and he’s facing one of the best defensive linemen in the NFL.
Here's Dan Orlovsky breaking down the play for another perspective.
Stuff like this just doesn’t make sense to me pic.twitter.com/djIg5FxzaG— Dan Orlovsky (@danorlovsky7) September 24, 2023
Sack 13 - 3rd Quarter 14:21 - Mike Danna
Defensive end Danna was working on left tackle Larry Borom, but I'm not giving this sack to Borom. Fields scrambles up into Danna's grasp after getting spooked by the free blitzer off the edge, linebacker Willie Gay Jr. (#50).
With protection sliding right, and Borom on an island, that means it's Fields' responsibility for any free blitzer. Tight end Robert Tonyan motioned left to right, yet Gay stayed where he was, so he's either there to drop into zone, spy Fields, or blitz. As soon as Gay rushes with his 4.46 forty speed, Fields has to be ready to hit one of his hot reads.
It's a bang-bang play, but he does have Herbert in the right flat, and Chase Claypool runs a speed out from the slot on the left. Both players had a defender near them, but a well-placed ball to either would have been complete.
Here's the individual Sackwatch tally after three weeks:
Justin Fields - 7
Braxton Jones - 2
Darnell Wright - 1.5
Ja'Tyre Carter - 1
Cody Whitehair - 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 3:
2010 - 8 (Martz)
2011 - 14 (Martz)
2012 - 11 (Tice)
2013 - 3 (Trestman)
2014 - 7 (Trestman)
2015 - 6 (Gase)
2016 - 9 (Loggains)
2017 - 7 (Loggains)
2018 - 9 (Nagy)
2019 - 8 (Nagy)
2020 - 7 (Nagy)
2021 - 15 (Nagy)
2022 - 10 (Getsy)
2023 - 13 (Getsy)