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Chicago Bears Sackwatch 2018: Week 13 vs. New York Giants

So much for having the fewest sacks allowed since their Super Bowl season of 2006. Since Chase Daniel was inserted into the starting lineup for the Chicago Bears these last two games, he has been sacked nine times. It’s not all on him, although the athletic Mitchell Trubisky does give the pass protection a boost when he’s in the game.

Daniel’s sack percentage is almost double Trubisky’s (10.6% to 5.6%), but when looking at Daniel I think it’s fair to point out that even though he’s a nine year veteran, he’s technically inexperienced with his pocket presence at just four career starts. All things considered though, Daniel is a good number two quarterback.

Let’s see where 2018 stacks up historically…

Sackwatch after 12 games

2010 – 45 Martz
2011 – 34 Martz
2012 – 36 Tice
2013 – 21 Trestman
2014 – 30 Trestman
2015 – 20 Gase
2016 – 23 – Loggains
2017 – 29 – Loggains
2018 – 28 Nagy

Sack 24 – Second Quarter 1:39 – B.J. Hill
We’re the Bears trying to set up a middle screen? The player that gets the sack, defensive tackle B.J. Hill (#95), receives a token block from left guard James Daniels and then he’s in hot pursuit of the QB. Hill splits the B-Gap with ease, and Daniels heads up field so quickly, that I’m assuming the intended receiver was running back Tarik Cohen who snuck through the line. Center Cody Whitehair also blocked for a split second before peeling off to block for a screen.

It looked to me like a fake bubble screen to the left, with a middle screen back to Cohen, but it didn’t fool the Giants. I can’t fault Daniels, as he was doing his job. I can’t fault Daniel either, because Hill was on him so quickly and there wasn’t a clean throwing lane. This good play by the Giants leads me to give this to Sacks Happen.

Sack 25 – Third Quarter 1:22 – B.J. Hill
Hill gets his second sack in a row, and this time he split right guard Bryan Witzmann and center Whitehair. Hill got Witzmann with the stutter-step juke to the outside before shooting back through the A-Gap. Witzmann failed to move his feet after falling for the fake and Whitehair was more concerned with his other A-Gap. Whitehair tried to stay strong and protect both gaps, but by doing so he wasn’t strong enough to help to his right.

I’m splitting the sack allowed between Whitehair and Witzmann.

Sack 26 – Fourth Quarter 15:00 – Olivier Vernon
This was a third and 11, so that could have gone into Daniel’s reasoning for not throwing it away once he escaped the pocket. I’d still rather he chuck it away than eat the sack and lose yardage in a close game though. The Giants overloaded the blitz on Chicago’s left side and the Bears did a good job picking it up initially.

Check out Jordan Howard’s blitz pickup coming from the right side back to the left. Even right tackle Bobby Massie stayed home after pinching to his left and he cleaned up a Giant scraping towards him. But Daniel breaking out of the pocket led to the defenders getting better angles to pursue, which is why Massie had a hard time staying with his block.

Daniel didn’t have anywhere to go with the ball, and he was forced to scramble. It did look like he was about to uncork a pass to Allen Robinson II after stepping up in the pocket, but Robinson stumbled a bit out of his break and Daniel pulled it back. Hindsight tells us he probably could have thrown it as Robinson maintained his route.

But as for the sack, Giant linebacker Olivier Vernon (#54) started out over Leno (LT), but ended up working all the way down the line until he ended up being blocked by Witzmann (RG). Vernon hustled his way into the sack, but Witzmann was leaning on him a bit too much which caused him to get off balance. With that being said, the pass pro held for 3 seconds and Daniel had no where to throw. I hate to give another to Sacks Happpen, but that’s what I’m doing.

Sack 27 – Fourth Quarter 1:07 – B.J. Hill
Another of the dreaded 0 yard sacks. I loathe them. The Giants had some good coverage on this play, so Daniel tried to escape up the middle.

But if you ask me, he tried to escape too early. The pass pro held up. Massie and Witzmann switched on the stunt happening in front of them, as did Leno and Daniels on the left side. The Giants ran a double EX stunt, which means that the defensive end goes inside first with the defensive tackle going around him to the outside. I’ve also seem this called an E-T stunt. Daniel seemed to get spooked at the Giant falling in front of him, and he took his eyes off his receivers. Had Daniel maintained his composure he could have stayed in the pocket and scanned downfield a tick longer before escaping to his left. I’m pinning this one on Daniel.

Sack 28 – Overtime 3:18 – Olivier Vernon
This one is the easiest of all to diagnose. Vernon simply beats Leno around the edge and swipes the ball out of Daniel’s hand. Leno’s angle on his kick step was a little too flat and he couldn’t catch up with Vernon. Leno tried to push him past his QB, but Vernon got his hand on the ball when Daniel cocked to throw.


Individual Sackwatch through 12 games:

Sacks Happen – 11
Mitchell Trubisky – 5
Charles Leno Jr. – 3
Kyle Long – 2
Bobby Massie – 2
Chase Daniel – 2
Bryan Witzmann – 1.5
Dion Sims – .5
Eric Kush – .5
Cody Whitehair – .5

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