Assigning blame for Chicago Bears pressure on Justin Fields
Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields faces pressure on 39.4% of his dropbacks, according to PFF. Fields’ pressure rate ranks fifth in the NFL behind Zach Wilson, Jameis Winston, Jacob Brissett, and Tyrod Taylor. Pressure comes in various ways, so the question now becomes what is causing this number to be so high, and what can the Bears do to help?
PFF also does an excellent job charting the pressures, and each pressure can be broken down by position. Below
Right Tackle 23.6%
Left Tackle 22.2%
Left Guard 15.3%
Right Guard 13.9%
Tight End 8.3%
Overall, most of this is not surprising. It is also worth noting that Justin Fields is ranked 17th in responsibility for the pressure he faces. This should not be confused with Fields ranking second in pressure to sack rate, behind only Baker Mayfield.
The reality is that when the pressure comes, Fields does struggle and takes sacks. However, it is not often his fault that the pressure is coming.
More often than not, the pressure is coming from the tackles and especially right tackle. However, a lot of this comes from the Bears’ weeks 5-7 run where Elijah Wilkinson, Alex Bars, and Lachavious Simmons took the right tackle snaps for the Chicago Bears.
In weeks 1-4, Germain Ifedi had a 21.1% pressure allowed rate, which is slightly below the left tackle Jason Peters. Beyond that, Larry Borom has posted an impressive 8.3% rate against Nick Bosa and T.J. Watt. This speaks to just how bad the other games were for this rate to be at 23.6%. Just from last week, it dropped 5%, thanks to Borom.
Many fans may be surprised that Peters is second on the team, but being a left tackle often means facing the team’s top pass rusher. He performs well at times but can often lose to speed and let rushers get around him.
The interior is ranked in a way that you would expect. Sam Mustipher has the least pedigree and is going through struggles. From low snaps to penalties to issues calling out the mike, a lot has been adding up for Mustipher. Still, Cody Whitehair has been the biggest disappointment because he has not been significantly better.
Still, Whitehair ranks 11th, while James Daniels is the only Chicago Bears lineman in the top ten in the least pressures allowed. Daniels ranks 9th with just under 14% allowed, which leads the team. It has been no surprise that Daniels has been the best lineman, but it can be argued that he is their best in the run game and pass statistically.