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Week 15 Pass Race and Pass Protection Recap

(Photo: Jon Durr, USA TODAY Sports)

As the Chicago Bears lost 17-9 in prime time to the Minnesota Vikings on Monday, it’s been a good week for the team in the trenches on both sides of the ball.

Defensively, the Bears had four sacks on the night and the constant pressure from the defensive line was a big reason why Kirk’s cousins came under 100 passing yards for the game. On the other side of the ball, the offensive line bounced back from a disastrous performance against the Green Bay Packers, doing a good job of sustaining Justin champs clean despite another programming overhaul.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the numbers for week 15.

(NOTE: All stats shown are based on my own tracking via film study. For other resources that track this data, I highly recommend Pro Football Focus and Next Gen Stats)

Rush Pass

Chicago Bears Pass Rush Week 15

Even though the pass rush didn’t have many opportunities to seize Kirk’s cousins at this game they made the most of it.

The Bears ended the contest with 12 total disruptions, including four sacks. A few of those sacks also came in on key third downs to stop practice, which had a huge impact on the overall defensive effort.

Starting from the inside, it was great to see Akiem Hicks healthy comeback by destroying the game. Hicks led the team in win rate and had the most disruption on the night with four overall. What made this particularly impressive was the fact that Hicks did it while being by far doubles with the team’s highest rate, with more than half of his actual reps rushing through. passes involving it being doubled. Hicks won his four one-on-one chances, making the Vikings’ right guard job easier Mason cole. It was a great return performance for the veteran defensive line and while we haven’t been able to see this dominant form of Hicks this season due to injuries, it’s always a treat to see him make his way through the quarter turns.

As for the other interior rushers in this game, no one player in particular has stood out outside of Hicks, but the Bears have seen solid production from this group nonetheless. Angelo Blackson had some good rushes in this game, finishing with two presses and the team’s second-highest winning rate. Bilal Nichols had a solid game as well he also had two taps and won a good chunk of his reps.

On the edge, Robert quinn continued their historic season by adding two more sacks, including a forced fumble. Quinn is now 16 this year and just 1.5 sacks away from breaking Richard Dent’s franchise record for sacks in one season. With three games to go, not only is this benchmark doable, it’s very possible that Quinn could break 20 sacks if all goes well in stride.

Other than Quinn, the Bears didn’t get much from their group of outside linebackers on Monday. Bruce irvin and Trevis Gipson won only one pass and the pair combined for pressure between them. Again, it was very frustrating to watch Irvin get more shots than Gipson for the second week in a row, especially with all the flashes we’ve seen of the latter this year. Either way, the two will need to play better in the future to take the pressure off Quinn.

Pass protection

OL Representatives Pass rate of the pass block Single block rate Double team rate Cascade rate Authorized pressures Bags allowed
Teven jenkins 39 94.87% 82.05% 15.38% 2.57% 1 0
Cody whitehair 40 85% 50% 42.50% 7.50% 3 0
Sam mustipher 39 89.74% 17.95% 71.79% 10.26% 2 0
James daniels 39 94.87% 43.59% 46.15% 10.26% 1 0
Germain ifedi 40 95% 72.50% 22.50% 5% 0 0

Chicago Bears Pass Protection Week 15

As previously reported, this was a huge rebound game for the offensive line as a unit.

With Germain ifedi back in line instead of Larry Borom and Teven jenkins getting their first start in the NFL, this group did a good job of containing the Vikings’ pass rush. While Justin champs has been sacked three times, none of them on the offensive line and for the most part Fields has been kept clean despite a high volume of setbacks.

From tackle points, Jenkins looked much more comfortable on his first left tackle start compared to his performance against the Packers the week before. There were still a few penalties Jenkins would like to recoup, but the rookie was much more consistent in pro passes to the point where it was almost a day-to-night comparison. Jenkins looked fluid out of position and he showed off his trademark strength, without getting dominated in the pocket. With only one squeeze allowed and an almost 95% win rate, there was a ton of positives to take from this game for him.

On the right tackle, Ifedi looked solid in his first injury comeback game. Ifedi had the team’s highest pass win rate and was the only offensive lineman not to give up a single push for the game. While the Bears should probably look to continue playing Borom once he comes back healthy to give him a few reps, Ifedi’s return gives this group of tackles a bit more security as we approach the last three weeks of the season.

Inside, James daniels returned to his solid ways with just one authorized squeeze. Daniels showed his susceptibility to power by sometimes being pushed back into the pocket, but these representatives were few in number for the most part.

Sam mustipher finished the game with a solid win rate, however, he also helped a double team over 70% of his pass protection reps which increased that a bit. Mustipher struggled in the few one-on-one situations he had and gave up two pushes as a result.

To the left guard, Cody whitehair had the busiest day of the group. Whitehair had the team’s lowest block win rate while also allowing up to three pushes. It was by no means a poor performance, but there are still too many times Whitehair gets intimidated in the backfield or just breathes his initial punch. In the four games since the week off, Whitehair has given up 14 pushes, which is the most tied in the squad during that streak with Borom. This is not a good trend for a player the Bears have invested a good amount of contractually.

All in all, it was a great outing for the Bears in the trenches on both sides of the ball. They’ll need to keep that momentum going until next week’s game against the Seattle Seahawks if the Bears are to secure a road win late in the season.