Bears on Offense: Remember Me?
At the snap, Cutler makes a courtesy play fake to Forte and then drops back to pass. The linebacker blitzes off the right edge, yet Forte picks him up just before he reaches the QB. Davis takes off down the right seam, followed closely by Milloy, while Knox runs a 10-yard hitch, forcing CB Marcus Trufant to come up and cover him. At the same time, Olsen releases into the right flat, followed by LB Lofa Tatupu. Olsen gains a step on the linebacker almost immediately. Cutler fires the ball to Olsen just before he reaches the sideline. With a clear field ahead of him, Olsen makes the catch and rumbles to the Seattle 12-yard line, before going down from tripping over his own feet. The play goes for a 33-yard gain.
Due to his size and speed, Olsen, when used properly, is a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses. On this play, Olsen lines up in the backfield, which almost assures that he will be picked up by a linebacker. Sure enough, Totupu is tasked with covering the tight end, which really isn't fair – Olsen is just too fast and gets open right away. Additionally, offensive coordinator Mike Martz does a great job of using Davis and Bennett to clear out space along the sideline for his tight end.
When Olsen is employed in the offense the way he was Sunday (three catches for 113 yards), he can be dominant. With the Packers heading into town for the NFC title game, the Bears will have a great chance at earning a trip to the Super Bowl if Martz and Cutler continue to utilize the team's most dangerous weapon like this.
Bears on Defense: Killing Two 'Hawks with One Bear
At the snap, Hasselbeck drops back to pass. Chicago brings only four players on the pass rush, which is picked up well. Stokely runs a five-yard hitch and has Tillman in his back pocket. Williams runs right past Moore, who releases him to the safety, indicating a Cover-2 zone. S Major Wright is backpedaling as Williams cuts to the sideline 15 yards down the field. Hasselbeck releases the ball to Williams, who is wide open in the zone between Moore and Wright. Tillman sees the pattern developing and breaks away from his receiver as soon as the ball is thrown. Tillman is then able to get in front of the receiver and makes a diving play to knock the ball down. The play goes for an incompletion and forces the Seahawks to punt.
This play was just one of many outstanding individual efforts by the Bears defense in what was a dominating performance. Tillman, in essence, covers two receivers. The call was designed to exploit the deep sideline zone that is often open in the Cover 2. Tillman knows where the weakness is and, as soon as he sees the route unfold, breaks away from his receiver to make a play on the ball. It was an exceptional play that nearly created a turnover.
These are the types of plays the secondary, as well as the entire defense, will need to make Sunday in order for the Bears to make it to Super Bowl XLV.
Jeremy Stoltz is editor-in-chief of the Business Ledger, the business resource for suburban Chicago. He is a frequent contributor to both Bear Report and BearReport.com.
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