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Chicago Bears Sackwatch 2023: Week 18 vs Green Bay Packers

With all the news from Halas Hall, some of you may have forgotton the season finale less than a week ago. We did not, and we break down the five sacks allowed here...

Syndication: Journal Sentinel Mark Hoffman / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK

This was not the close to this season's Sackwatch that I was hoping for, especially with how it was trending over the last several weeks. Sure, sacks were down this year, as was the team's sack percentage, but the Chicago Bears gave up five sacks to the Green Bay Packers in one of their worst pass protection days of the year.

The pass blocking had some issues this season, Justin Fields did take a few unnecessary sacks, but there were also schematic problems that continued to pop up this year. Poor spacing from receivers, no quick hot read in case of a blitz, and leaving backs one-on-one against defensive linemen are a few of the things that made me scratch my head this season.

There's plenty of blame to go around, but there was a disconnect between players, scheme, coaching, and play-calling sequence.

Chicago will have a new offensive coordinator in 2024, and it's possible he'll be working with a new quarterback, so fingers crossed for some better pass pro next season.

Let's break it down one final time...

Sack 46 - 1st Quarter 11:06 - Lukas Van Ness
A low snap by Dan Feeney started this play on a sour note, and with Fields reading left to right on this play, there's nowhere to go with the ball once he set. Braxton Jones' anchor was much better this season, but on this play, rookie Lukas Van Ness (#90) worked him back into Fields.

You'd like to see Jones take away the inside move from Van Ness after getting driven back so far. That would force the defender to go around the pocket so his QB could step up. Right guard Nate Davis got whipped on this, too, but I'm giving it to Jones.

Sack 47 - 2nd Quarter 15:00 - Devonte Wyatt
Left guard Teven Jenkins lost his balance when he got caught with too much of his weight forward. Once Packer defensive tackle Devonte Wyatt breaks free from Jenkins' arms, Jenkins loses balance, and his momentum takes him forward.

Clark popped Jenkins' inside arm, felt he had him over-committed, then hit a quick rip under to get free of Teven's outside arm. This one is on Jenkins.

Note the nice blitz pickup from Roschon Johnson, though.

Sack 48 - 2nd Quarter 2:00 - Kenny Clark
The Packers ran a defensive tackle twist, and Jenkins wasn't ready for Kenny Clark to come back to him after his guy darted inside. Karl Brooks (#94) essentially blocks Chicago's center into right guard Cody Whitehair to try and create space for Clark to loop into.

Jenkins isn't supposed to crash inside with Brooks, so when he does, he is out of position for Clark, who stunts around for the sack. This is sack number two on Jenkins.

Sack 49 - 3rd Quarter 5:44 - Quay Walker
Before you look at the quarterback, I want you to watch the receivers because Green Bay has some decent coverage across the board. This is an empty set for the Bears, the Packers show pressure but drop the fifth defender into a spy technique after initially showing blitz, and while the Bears had enough to block here, some pressure from #91 (Preston Smith) gets around Braxton Jones that forces Fields to step up.

Smith actually gets a hand of Fields, which causes Fields to stumble, but Feeney and Whitehair do a poor job on Green Bay's interior. Smith's contact turns Fields around and off balance, so even if the blocking inside was flawless, I'm not sure Fields could have escaped.

This one is on Braxton, but there's a lot of bad in this play.

Sack 50 - 4th Quarter 6:55 - Karl Brooks
Before I get into this sack, Next Gen Stats had this down as the fastest sack of the week, with Karl Brooks getting home at 2.74 seconds past Jenkins.

Brooks, a 2023 sixth-round draft pick, wins with his quick hands here by slapping Jenkins' inside arm and swimming over the top. It's possible that Jenkins was expecting Brooks to drive through the B-Gap, but his nimble inside step through to the A-Gap left Jenkins flat-footed.

Jenkins took to Twitter to apologize for his play; "My worst game at the worst time I'm sorry bears fans…"

And I agree with him. This was not the same Jenkins I've watched all year, but this is the kind of season's end that can drive the 25-year-old into an offseason of hard work to come back and ball out in his final contracted year.

Here's the individual Sackwatch tally after the full 17 games:

Justin Fields - 15
Sacks Happen - 10
Teven Jenkins - 5
Darnell Wright - 4.5
Braxton Jones - 4
Cody Whitehair - 2
Ja'Tyre Carter - 2
Larry Borom - 2
Khari Blasingame - 2
Lucas Patrick - 1
Roschon Johnson - 1
Darnell Mooney - 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 lies for each sack allowed.

Here's the historical year-end Sackwatch:

Year - Sacks / O.C. / (sack%)

2010 - 56 Mike Martz (10.7%)
2011 - 49 Mike Martz (9.4%)
2012 - 45 Mike Tice (8.3%)
2013 - 30 Marc Trestman (4.9%)
2014 - 41 Marc Trestman (6.3%)
2015 - 33 Adam Gase (5.9%)
2016 - 27 Dowell Loggains (4.8%)
2017 - 39 Dowell Loggains (7.6%)
2018 - 33 Matt Nagy (6.1%)
2019 - 45 Matt Nagy (7.2%)
2020 - 36 Matt Nagy (5.5%)
2021 - 58 Nagy/Lazor (9.7%)
2022 - 58 Luke Getsy (13.3%)
2023 - 50 Luke Getsy (8.9%)

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