Chicago Bears: Where are the Leonard Floyd sacks?

GREENBAY, WI - OCTOBER 20: Quarterback Aaron Rodgers
GREENBAY, WI - OCTOBER 20: Quarterback Aaron Rodgers /

Leonard Floyd has played four games in 2018 without a sack. Will they start to come for the Chicago Bears?

With the addition of Khalil Mack and the excitement built up around the Chicago Bears defense, a former top ten pick in his third season has flown under the radar. That could also be because four games into the season he has flown under the radar, without recording a single sack.

Floyd is coming off of an ACL injury, he has a club on his hand, and he is rushing from a side he has not typically lined up on. That should explain a lot of it. However, with the addition of Khalil Mack, many also thought this would shift coverage away from Floyd, and he would be able to utilize his speed in a breakout year. After going through every pass rush attempt, he has had in 2018, here is what I found is causing Floyd to have a donut on the sack column.


We all know that Leonard Floyd spends a decent amount of his time off of the ball. That is what made him such a rare talent as a prospect. That is also what made Khalil Mack-a pure power rusher-such a perfect fit across the field from him.

With that in mind, Floyd has spent about a quarter of the Bears pass attempts against playing off of the ball. In that regard, he has shown well, as highlighted in the play here. Floyd drops back into the middle of the field. He follows Fitzpatrick and reads the crossing route. He explodes and gets his hand on the pass to knock it away. This is why you deploy him in coverage.

However, in his pass rush attempts, there has been another deployment that has also caused his lack of sacks.

With Khalil Mack and Akiem Hicks on the same side of the center, the Chicago Bears have a lot of power in that matchup. Vic Fangio understands that and has loaded up on that side with his power.

With that in mind, he has had Leonard Floyd play more of a contain role. Floyd will not rush hard, but instead look to trap the quarterback into staying in the pocket with Mack and Hicks reigning down on them.

Watch the deployment in the play linked here.  Eddie Goldman charges at the center, leaving Akiem Hicks and Khalil Mack in one on one matchups on that side. On Floyd’s side, he is extending his angle to contain the pocket. Rodgers cannot escape to Floyd’s side.

You can see it in this play here with Aaron Lynch in the Khalil Mack role. And against Russell Wilson in the play here. Roy Robertson-Harris stunts to the right side of the offensive line. The Bears also blitz Bryce Callahan off of the same side that Khalil Mack is rushing from. Meanwhile, Floyd is extending his path outward to contain Wilson from escaping.

This makes sense considering the matchups. One, you have Rodgers and Wilson- two mobile quarterbacks who are almost at their best when they break the pocket. Using Floyd to contain that is a smart move. The Seahawks and Packers also feature talented left tackles as the key pieces to their offensive line. David Bakhtiari and Duane Brown have received national recognition for their play. Fangio took their impact out of the game plan by having them protect the contain man.

One on Ones

However, you cannot put it all on the opponent and the scheme. Floyd did have his pass rush attempts and had one on one opportunities. He did not take advantage.

As mentioned, some of that had to do with Bakhtiari and Brown being a tough matchup for a player working through some things. While he did not get home, the play linked here is promising considering the opponent.

He got his hand on Bakhtiari’s shoulder clean, which allows him to chop down with his other hand. It gives his shoulder the ability to bend around the edge, but Bakhtiari made an excellent play to push Floyd off of his path just enough.

In Week Two, you can see another move almost get home against Duane Brown. Floyd steps hard to the inside with his left foot, then springs back out with his right. His athleticism and bend get him around the edge, but the combination of Brown and Wilson was just a bit too much for it.

He also got close in Week Four against Donovan Smith. In the clip here, he is able to stunt to the inside and force an incompletion.

There is promise with the speed of Floyd, and you could assume that eventually some of these moves will be able to get home, whether it be against a weaker tackle or less mobile quarterback.

That opportunity did present itself against Arizona, and he did not take advantage. In the play linked here, he is taking on D.J. Humphries, a less regarded tackle, and Sam Bradford, who barely has knees. Floyd went for the same move he used in the example against Duane Brown. However, Humphries did his tape study and shut the move down the second he saw it.

More from Bear Goggles On

Floyd has also lost in situations where he has to use power. In the play linked here, you can see that he puts in a bull rush against Duane Brown and is stonewalled. He has a very similar attempt against Bakhtiari.

Even in this play, you see Leonard Floyd is tossed to the ground by Rick Seals-Jones, a wide receiver converted to tight end. It was safe to say that his performance in Arizona was his worst of the season.

His overall ability to defend tight ends has also added to his value in the passing game. In this play, you can see that he uses his versatility in the passing game to shove O.J. Howard off of his path before getting upfield to rush the passer. As mentioned, he is not in a hurry to get home on this play, so throwing a pass target off his route while Mack and company force Fitzpatrick into Floyd’s contain is a nice helper. You can see in that play that Donovan Smith is legitimately just standing and waiting for Floyd. Again, Fangio is taking the left tackle out of the equation.


Leonard Floyd was a step away from a sack or two against some talented tackles and mobile quarterbacks. While he did not play well against Arizona and is not a star in one-on-one rushing situations, he has a lot of speed and athleticism. As he gets used to his new side, gets his hand healthy and shakes off his rust from last years surgery, sacks are probably coming.

However, when looking overall at his situation, he has performed better than the stats indicate. Fangio understands that Floyd is not winning these one-on-one situations and is putting him in spots where he can still affect the game.

His versatility to defend the pass in space, as a contain man on the edge to isolate left tackles, and as a player who can press tight ends off of the line of scrimmage, he is helping provide the time for Mack, Hicks, and others to get home so frequently.

Do not worry about Leonard Floyd.