Chicago Bears DC Sean Desai must change this to defend Lamar Jackson

Chicago Bears (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

Whether you think it has been a success or failure, first-year defensive coordinator Sean Desai has already implemented his defensive style with the Chicago Bears. He is playing with different personnel looks, alignments, and a few scheme tweaks. One interesting change from Desai is that he is blitzing less.

He is blitzing just 16% of the time after Pagano was at 24% and 22%, and Vic Fangio was at 21% the year prior. This makes sense in some ways considering Robert Quinn and Khalil Mack started the season healthy and gave Chicago their best duo over the past four years.

Still, while this style can work, Desai has also shown that he gameplans to specific opponents. If that is the case, it would mean this number is going up in a big way after the Ravens game.

There is no set way to beat Lamar Jackson, but the reality is that it is much wiser to blitz him. The truth is that if you do not blitz him, he blitzes you. If you do not make him think fast, he sits back and sees the entire field, which is when it is game over.

When Lamar Jackson is blitzed, he ranks 21st in yards per attempt, 25th in big-time throws, and 26th in passer rating. When he is not blitzed, he is 1st, 3rd, and 8th in those three categories. This is not debatable, if you sit back, Lamar Jackson will beat you, but it will affect him if you blitz.

This shows as Jackson is the second most blitzed quarterback in the NFL, behind only Tyrod Taylor. Taylor is blitzed on 39% of his dropbacks, while Jackson is blitzed on 36%. Justin Fields and Mac Jones are slightly below them because, of course, you blitz rookies. The fact that Jackson is blitzed more shows how often teams must blitz him.

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Still, the Bears blitz 16% of the time, and Jackson is blitzed 36% of the time. That 20% is a wide gap to make up and would be a completely different game plan for Sean Desai and the Chicago Bears. On Sunday, we learn if Desai can mix things up based on his opponent or set in ways and wants to do things his way.