After the dud debut he had in Chicago (two sacks and zero tackles for loss in the entire 2020 season), Quinn responded in 2021 by breaking the Bears’ single-season sack record.
Advanced Stat to Know: Quinn’s Pass Rush Productivity Score (8.7) was the 10th best of all EDGE players that saw at least 347 pass rush snaps. (PFF)
Best Game of 2021
Quinn’s standout performance came Week 9 against the Baltimore Ravens when he had multiple season-highs with 3.5 sacks, five tackles, and four quarterback hits.
With the Ravens having to start Tyler Huntley in place of Lamar Jackson, Quinn took advantage of the situation and made life difficult for the inexperienced quarterback.
Will Robert Quinn be able to follow up his astonishing 2021 season?
Okay, it’s not fair to ask Quinn to repeat his sack total from a year ago. That is for certain. It is reasonable to expect some sort of regression after putting up nearly 20 sacks and breaking Richard Dent’s record.
He also had 17 tackles for loss, the most he’s compiled in a season since he had 23 in 2013.
For a player that just turned 32 years old, it’s a level of play that simply should not be expected to carry over into 2022.
However, it would be welcomed — of course!
What absolutely must not happen is a complete relapse by Quinn. His career is full of peaks and valleys, and after putting up one of his best seasons, it would be catastrophic if he followed it up with another season that resembled his 2020 performance.
Historically, Quinn has been a more effective player and pass rusher in a defense that asks him to be a hand-in-the-dirt rusher. The Bears gave him some flexibility to do so last season despite Quinn technically being a stand-up outside linebacker. Now back to a familiar defensive end role, Quinn should be put in a position to limit any dropoff we may see.
Quinn has not had back-to-back double-digit sack totals since the 2013-14 seasons. It will be a challenge to make it happen again.
One way Quinn fits what the Bears are looking to accomplish is his ability to generate turnovers as he has seven forced fumbles since coming to Chicago and has had at least two every season since 2013.
The Bears brought in Al-Quadin Muhammad in free agency who is a serviceable defensive end. Trevis Gipson is entering his third season after a breakout year. Chicago also drafted Dominique Robinson who has plenty of potential.
Quinn will start for the Bears, but the team does have other options within the rotation if the veteran struggles. As long as he doesn’t regress into the shell of himself fans saw two years ago, Quinn should see plenty of action.
Quinn reminded fans what he is capable of last season, but can he make good for the second year in a row?
History says he can still be an effective pass rusher, but don’t expect the same level of dominance.
Prediction: 7.5 Sacks, 40 Tackles, 9 TFL, 3 Forced Fumbles.
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