Without Khalil Mack, Chicago Bears pass rusher Leonard Floyd had the best day as a pass rusher this season. How were the Chicago Bears able to get him home?
With Khalil Mack banged up last week, Leonard Floyd took a lot of heat for not being able to put any pressure on Tom Brady. Against the New York Jets, and with Mack out, a lot more pressure was on Floyd to pick up the pressure.
With many questioning him, Floyd came through with one of his best performances of the season. The Bears had one of their better performances of the year with their front getting pressure.
While some of it had to do with the Jets, the Chicago Bears still did bring the noise.
With that in mind, the question becomes what was it that got Floyd going? Was it the next man up mentality?
The fact is that Vic Fangio went to the same recipe that has brought Floyd success on the other side this year. In an article earlier in the year, we broke down why Floyd was not getting sacks.
It showed that while he is being used in coverage, he is also being used as a contain man rather than a rusher. However, when he was rushing, he was struggling in one-on-one situations.
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The most pressure he got with Mack in the lineup was on stunts. While he does not beat his man consistently, Floyd is so quick and light on his feet that when he gets a step or a quick lane to the quarterback, he can explode into it.
With Mack out, the Bears went to a similar play style to get Floyd going. You can see one of his pressures linked here.
The Bears lined up both their defensive lineman on the left side of the offensive line. This leaves Aaron Lynch and Leonard Floyd on the right side. Lynch crashed down hard into the three blockers on their side. Floyd used his speed to stunt around the traffic that Lynch created to spring into the backfield,
Sam Darnold showed good awareness to get out of the pocket and get rid of the ball, but Floyd did get a pressure nonetheless.
Still, some are going to walk away from this game and think that Leonard Floyd had some breakthrough. It is tough to say that is true.
Floyd was needed more in the pass rush, so more stunts were dialed, and more got home. When Khalil Mack comes back, he is likely to be utilized in the same role he had been in before. Yes, he will get some stunt calls and will likely get home on those.
However, he did not show that he can win consistently in one-on-one situations and that was his issue coming into the game. With that in mind, little changed from the strong performance.