If you've been following the last week we're breaking down all of the sacks allowed during the 2011 season. So far we've covered week one and two versus the Falcons and Saints. Early discoveries are the Bears' offensive line can get beaten in a variety of different ways.
Though this is stating the obvious given that there's always something wrong when your QB is sacked. So far the Bears have allowed 11 sacks on the season to this point and square off against the blitz happy Packers in week three.
They allow three sacks against the Packers, an improvement but not the level of pass blocking competence you want to see from your OL. The first sack of the game is another obvious protection breakdown on a seven step drop.
Chris Williams shift right and leaves open a gap that the five technique exploits by charging through the open hole to get a free shot on Cutler.
The second sack is out of the shot gun, and while the protection does break down, Cutler holds onto the ball for around four seconds. He doesn't seem confident in his progressions here and doesn't get rid of the football.
The key here Cutler should get rid of the football before the pressure gets to him and he should have more time given he's in the shot gun. Most Bears fans will point to J'Marcus Webb giving up what appears to be yet another sack.
However Cutler holding onto the football for that four seconds is more directly the cause of this sack. The ball typically has to be out in less than four seconds, usually in a three second range. There's really no secret to the failure here and it's disconcerting because there seems to be a continual lack of communication and cohesion on the offensive line.
The protection fails not because people are getting beat, but because someone is being left unblocked when the Bears face an over loaded front with eight men in the box. Going seven step drop doesn't help much as it leaves Cutler extremely vulnerable and without the ability to audible out and get the hot receiver involved.
This is critical and the Bears need to do something to fix it, otherwise teams will continually blitz to cause confusion and get to Cutler. The obvious fix seems to have come in the form of Mike Martz's departure.
Tice likely changes protections up and the audibles to big receivers gives Cutler a sure out, three step five step drop and shot gun gives Cutler the chance to get the ball out and let the receivers make plays in the open field.
The third and final sack of the game is the same as the second one, Cutler holds onto the ball far too long. Cutler is out of the shot gun and trying to make a play down the field.
Over four seconds Cutler is standing in the pocket looking to deliver the football. The clock in Cutler's head has to go off and he has to either run or get rid of the football. Cutler does neither and as a result takes another shot as he tries to slide more in the pocket.
So after three games what we have seen is a lot of seven step drops, some shot gun work and now Cutler holding onto the ball too long. In a pass protection there's been plenty of blame to go around and in two of the three sacks in the Packers it's obvious that Cutler holds onto the ball too long when he should be making a play.
Fault the receivers for not getting open, but also fault Cutler for not getting the ball away, either out of bounds or by running for yards.