There's been a lot of discussion amongst Bears fans, experts, and analysts about the Chicago Bears' offensive line and the lack of pass protection. There's been equal discussion about Mike Martz's offense and the seven step drop and the lack of protection schemes in Martz's offense. Almost all of that discussion has been just that, discussion with no visual representation of what happened on each play. Well that's about to change, I'm going to bring in video tape of each and every sack the Bears allowed during the 2011 season.
We're all going to evaluate each one, and I'm going to do my best to analyze precisely what contributed to each sack. Obviously I can't be 100-percent correct in knowing what the line call was or what the protection scheme was. However we're going to tackle these issues as completely and honestly as possible.
At the very least we want to get an idea of how many seven step drops led to sacks, how many blitzes led to sacks, whether or not Cutler held onto the ball too long etc. Next up is the week two game vs. the New Orleans Saints, and the six games the Bears allowed in this game. At one point in the fourth quarter, Cutler was sacked three straight plays on the same series.
Five of the six sacks came in the fourth quarter and most were off of blitz pressure. First up we have a sack allowed by Kellen Davis. Davis is beaten cleanly around the corner by the DE. The Bears go seven step drop on the play and Forte is decked from the blind side. There's a delayed blitz, but the Bears have plenty of blockers in to protect. Davis is beaten like a rented mule anyway and Cutler pays the price.
The next sack comes on a classic Gregg Williams overload blitz with some extra protection from the Bears. There appears to be a bad line call as the Bears shift to the right and the sack comes from the left/blindside. The right call is to shift right from the standpoint that that is where the overload is coming from. The bears go seven step drop from Cutler withe Saints playing off coverage and the receivers running down the field routes. There is no prayer here for Cutler with the amount of pressure coming and the seven step drop.
The third sack is given up from pressure on the right side. Frank Omiyale is the responsible party after Gabe Carimi goes down with his season-ending knee injury. Seven step drop, delayed blitz from the linebackers and Cutler gets killed. What seems like a simple four man rush turns into a two man blitz with the four man pressure. Omiyale is beaten like a mule and it's the first of many that leads to his benching in favor of Lance Louis.
Cutler out of the shotgun on this play, eight man front, seven man protection Kellen Davis lined up in the backfield also Khalil Bell in the backfield to Cutler's left. A long swooping stunt from Roman Harper hits home as the protection breaks down. At this point there doesn't appear to be much communication happening on the offensive line.
There appears to be a real lack of chemistry and audibles out of these plays could really help Cutler. There's no sight adjustments, no hot reads, Cutler is simply dropping back and getting killed. Obviously Cutler can't audible but the lack of sight adjustments (what Martz said would help in obvious pressure situations) isn't happening and the result are sacks and hits on the QB.
At this point the Saints are simply teeing off on Cutler. Seven step drops are the call, part of the Martz arrogance and Williams is motivating his men to get the kill shot. Cutler has no prayer on any of these blitzes, and it shows. Another seven step drop eight man blitz, another hit on Cutler. Sure there are protection breakdowns, but the constant seven step drops, seven man protections, eight man blitzes will get your QB killed every time.
On the sixth and final sack of the game Cutler, the Saints show blitz cause enough confusion and Cutler gets decked by a free man. The free rusher comes from Webb's side, but it's a complete break down in protection from the line call. The Bears shift right, and Webb let's a DE come free to get a shot on Cutler with a five step drop on.
This game combined with the end of the year game against the Vikings like infuriates Bears fans the most. Most of these sacks seem absolutely gift wrapped to the defense and Cutler is getting belted as a result of it.
In this game there's more than enough blame to go around beyond player getting beat. There are more rushers than blockers, seven step drops, and bad line calls and shifts to deal with the pressure. Gregg Williams is CLEARLY out scheming out coaching Mike Martz in this game, especially late.
The lack of chemistry, communication between the O-Linemen is some of the worst in the NFL. This in conjunction with just how bad Frank Omiyale and J'Marcus Webb are as pass protectors. The lack of pass protection in this game is an all-time embarrassment and it's reflective of everyone involved in pass protection.