Chicago Bears Have Significant Pass Protection Issues

CHICAGO - OCTOBER 24: Jay Cutler #6 of the Chicago Bears is sacked by Rocky McIntosh #52 of the Washington Redskins at Soldier Field on October 24 2010 in Chicago Illinois. The Redskins defeated the Bears 17-14. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Jay Cutler; Rocky McIntosh

Whenever I watch the Bears this year, what always sticks out to me is how effective almost every blitz against them is on passing plays. I have remarked more than once that I feel like I am watching the 2007 Jets. Surely you remember the offensive line that featured Adrien Clarke and Anthony Clement. The unit was so bad that Mike Tannenbaum had little choice but to spend big to land Alan Faneca and Damien Woody the next offseason in free agency.

My feelings are pretty accurate. I looked it up and found that the Jets allowed 3.3 sacks per game that year. The Bears have allowed 3.4 this year. In addition to the 48 sacks Chicago has allowed this season, Pro Football Focus says they have allowed 26 quarterback hits and 153 quarterback pressures. The Bears are allowing at least pressure on just over half of their passing plays this year. For some context, the Jets are allowing pressure on just over a quarter of their passing plays, and Mark Sanchez has shown a willingness to hold the ball for quite a while in the pocket.

Part of it has to do with the long developing pass plays of Mike Martz's scheme, but Chicago's offensive line has been a sieve aside from center Olin Kreutz, who has allowed only 1 sack, 2 hits, and 9 pressures. Their tackles, Frank Omiyale and J'Marcus Webb have both allowed over 10 sacks and 34 pressures.

The lesson here is simple. The Jets should blitz, blitz, and blitz some more in this one. Gang Green is built to attack. This matchup seems to be in New York's favor.

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