Montez Sweat

Bears snap count: Montez Sweat's workload, impact rise in win vs. Vikings

Montez Sweat's snap count ticked up in the win over the Vikings and his impact was felt for the full 60

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LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- After a week of talking about Montez Sweat playing just 63 percent of the snaps in the Bears' Week 11 loss to the Detroit Lions, the star edge rusher saw his numbers tick up during Monday night's 12-10 win over the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Sweat played 39 snaps in the thrilling win, which was good for 71 percent of the Bears' defensive snaps.

General manager Ryan Poles told ESPN 1000 during the pregame that he and head coach Matt Eberflus had a conversation about playing their best players more in critical moments.

While Sweat's snap count didn't rise to the percentage normally seen by elite edge rushers, the star defensive end made his impact felt on those 39 snaps.

According to Pro Football Focus, Sweat notched seven pressures, 1.5 sacks, and had a win rate of 25.0 percent in the win over the Vikings.

Sweat's solo sack came on a nicely designed pick stunt on which the Bears lined Yannick Ngakoue outside Sweat and had Ngakoue loop around.

Adding an elite edge rusher of Sweat's caliber has allowed Eberflus and defensive line coach Travis Smith to implement some rush games they didn't feel they could implement without a top-tier pass-rusher to impact the gravity of the opponent's pass-blocking scheme.

"Travis Smith, that was his idea to put those guys on the same side and run that little pick stunt that we had," Eberflus said Tuesday. "We ran it a couple times. We lined up in that same alignment, did a couple other things out of that, had a nice third or fourth down stop out of that same alignment with a different pressure. But yeah, you definitely need to do that. Any time you can get a mismatch and put him (Sweat) on a particular side, you’re doing that for a particular mismatch, or you’re creating an advantage for somebody else somewhere else. That’s the benefit of having a player like that."

DeMarcus Walker clocked in with the second most snaps among Bears edge rushers with 32. Ngakoue battled cramps during the game and only played 29 snaps.

On the offensive side, rookie running back Roschon Johnson out-snapped Khalil Herbert 52-15 in the win. Eberflus pointed to Johnson's stellar week of practice as the reason why he got the lion's share of the work over Herbert. The Bears will continue to prioritize the practice work and production when determining how the backfield rotation looks each week.

"Roschon did a nice job, for the most part," Eberflus said. "There was a couple hiccups in there. The one sack that we did take with the edge pressure, he’s just got to be more inside and firm. He’ll learn that as he goes. He’s still a rookie, and he’s got a lot of situations that he hasn’t seen yet in real time and game situations. But he’s a heck of a worker, super smart, he’s a tough guy and he’s one of our better protectors, so he’ll continue to work on that.

"We’re always going to look at the practice, we’re always going to look at production, and it’s always going to be based upon that."

Here's the snap count from the win over the Vikings:

Quarterback: Justin Fields 70

Running backs: Roschon Johnson 52, Khalil Herbert 15, Khari Blasingame 6

Wide receivers: DJ Moore 65, Darnell Mooney 57, Equanimeous St. Brown 34, Tyler Scott 12, Trent Taylor 4, Velus Jones Jr. 1

Tight ends: Cole Kmet 62, Marcedes Lewis 24, Robert Tonyan 19

Offenisve line: Lucas Patrick 70, Braxton Jones 70, Darnell Wright 70, Nate Davis 70, Teven Jenkins 63, Cody Whitehair 7

Defensive line: Justin Jones 39, Montez Sweat 39, DeMarcus Walker 32, Yannick Ngakoue 29, Andrew Billings 28, Gervon Dexter 20, Rasheem Green 18, Zacch Pickens 11

Linerbackers: T.J. Edwards 55, Tremaine Edmunds 55, Jack Sanborn 13

Defensive backs: Eddie Jackson 55, Jaylon Johnson 55, Jaquan Brisker 54, Terell Smith 52, Kyler Gordon 42, Jaylon Jones 4, Josh Blackwell 2, Elijah Hicks 2

Special teams: Sanborn 15, Ja. Jones 14, Blackwell 14, DeMarquis Gates 14, Dylan Cole 14, Travis Homer 12, Hicks 11, Cairo Santos 10, Tonyan 10, V. Jones 9, Patrick Scales 8, Trenton Gill 8, Blasingame 7, Christian Matthew 7, Wright 5, Patrick 5, Kmet 5, Whitehair 5, Gordon 5, Dan Feeney 5, Ja'Tyre Carter 5, Edwards 4, Taylor 3, Davis 3, Brisker 3, Walker 3, Dexter 2, Green 2, Ju. Jones 2, Jenkins 2, Ro. Johnson 2, Ja. Johnson 1, Edmunds 1, Smith 1, Sweat 1, Billings 1, Pickens 1

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