Tales from the Tape: Offense

It was a lopsided loss for the Bears in the team's second preseason game. Some units performed poorly, while others showed significant progress. JS goes to the film room and breaks down what the tape reveals.

First quarter

-First play for the offense, an outside run to the left side that goes for a loss because RG Lance Louis missed his block. On the play though, TE Matt Speath locks up with DE Jason Pierre-Paul and drives him backward into the ground. I'll say this: Greg Olsen could never have done that to a down lineman.

-3rd down and 10, Jay Cutler drops back to pass. On the right side, the Giants defensive linemen run a cross stunt. Carimi does a good job of driving the end into the interior wash, then releases and is able to get a hand on the tackle swinging outside. This gives Cutler enough time to hit an open Roy Williams, who proceeds to drop the ball. Carimi had an outstanding night and is quickly proving his worth as a first rounder. Williams continued to do what he's done all preseason: drop passes.

-1st down, Cutler drops back to pass. The Giants only rush four guys. The offensive line does a great job picking up the rushers and a perfect pocket forms. On the outside, WR Devin Hester runs an out-and-up and gets behind the cornerback. Cutler steps up in the pocket a delivers a strike to Hester for 37 yards. The offensive line created these types of pockets all night, which allowed the passing game to flourish.

-Next play is a screen to Forte. It's not blocked all that well but Forte makes a couple of nifty maneuvers and then finds a crease leading down the far sideline. The play goes for 42-yard gain. This demonstrates why Chester Taylor is not needed in this offense. Forte is a better receiver than Taylor and has better open-field moves, while Marion Barber is a better short-yardage back. Taylor's days in the navy and orange are numbered.

Second quarter

-1st down, Cutler drops back to pass. Louis allows penetration by Rocky Bernard. Cutler has to scramble out of the pocket and ends up taking a sack. The offensive line played well tonight but Louis is still the weak link. In my mind, Spencer will be in the starting lineup by the start of the regular season. This should have never been a sack though. Cutler needed to get rid of that ball.

-The Bears ran a number of screens in the first half, which was a very smart way to counter the over-aggressiveness of the New York front seven.


T J'Marcus Webb
Jonathan Daniel/Getty

-1st down, Chester Taylor runs off-tackle left. LT J'Marcus Webb stands straight up when the ball is snapped then tries to engage and drive back DE Dave Tollefson. The defender easily sheds the block and makes the tackle on Taylor. Webb was as solid as he's ever been in pass protection last night but his technique on this play was horrid. He did not come off the ball low and explode into the defender like he should have. There won't be many yards gained on the left side if he continues with poor efforts like this one.

-3rd and 18, Giants show blitz and bring six guys. Cutler recognizes the blitz and fires a quick pass to Earl Bennett over the middle. The play only goes for five yards but it keeps the team in field-goal position. It was a very smart play by Cutler to take what the defense gave him and not give up any yardage because of a sack.

Third quarter

-QB Caleb Hanie drops back to pass. RG Johan Asiata locks up with DT Rocky Bernard. Bernard gives one good push then drives his legs, forcing Asiata all the way into Hanie's face. The quarterback has to step up and ends up scrambling for a five-yard gain.

The following play, the team runs a screen right to Marion Barber. Asiata and Chris Spencer clear to the flat and lead the runner. Spencer stays shallow and takes the inside linebacker. Asiata sees his man, LB Spencer Paysinger, yet can only get a hand on his shoulder pad. Paysinger cuts around Asiata and makes the tackle on Barber.

Asiata has been underwhelming all preseason and these are just two more examples why he's very unlikely to make the roster this year.

-Strong left, single-back set. Barber gets the carry off-tackle left. Asiata pulls and is able to seal the edge. At the point of attack, TE Matt Spaeth locks up with DE Dave Tollefson. Speath gets his hands under the defender's pads, sinks his hips and uses his feet to keep leverage. Barber swings around the edge. As he does, Speath turns and buries Tollefson into the turf. The play goes for a seven-yard gain. The tight ends will be a critical part of the running game. Spaeth had a very solid outing, which is a good sign going forward.

-Strong-right, three-receiver set. Hanie drops back to pass. C Chris Spencer and LG Edwin Williams start off double-teaming the left defensive tackle. At right guard, Asiata is again getting bullrushed into the quarterback by DT Marvin Austin. Spencer, realizing Williams had the defender under control, quickly swings right and clips Austin in the side, just before he reaches Hanie, who then has a clear path to throw the ball. He completes the pass to WR Dane Sanzenbacher for a first down.

These are the types of plays an experienced center makes. Spencer made a quick read and was able to shift to where his teammate needed help. Little things like this can change a play from a sack to a first down.

-Strong-right, three-receiver set. Hanie pitches to Barber running a stretch play to the right. Asiata and Spencer pull right. WR Kris Adams locks up the inside safety, while Asiata kicks out on the cornerback. On the backside, LT Frank Omiyale chases down MLB Phillip Dillard. Barber cuts inside just as Omiyale is able to trip up Dillard. At that moment, Spencer come leading through the hole and lays a big block on Dillard, knocking him out of the play. Barber gains 10 yards and a 1st down.

This was a great job of blocking across the board. Omiyale was especially impressive, working all the way across the field to make the block. Barber made a really nice cut as well, something he did for most of the evening.

-For the most part in the second half, the Bears used max protection with Hanie under center.

-4th and goal at the 2-yard line. Barber runs off-tackle right. Asiata pulls right but misses his kickout block. The LB slips inside and is able to take down the ball carrier. Just one more missed block by Asiata at a crucial moment.

Fourth quarter

-1st down, off-tackle right play to Barber. Kyle Adams is the lead blocker. He takes a bad angle through the hole and then trips over RT Levi Horn's feet. As he's stumbling through the hole, DE Adrian Tracy shoulders him to the ground and makes the tackle on Barber. Adams was used in the fullback role a lot on the second half but he did not perform well.

-1st down. Strong-right, power-I set. Hand off to Kahlil Bell running up the two gap. The entire second-unit offensive line is still in, except Asiata has been replaced by Ricky Henry at right guard. Henry and RT Levi Horn crash down on the tackle. Henry drives the defender into the second level. TE Andre Davis pushes the defensive end five yards deep and buries him into the ground. Horn then peels off and picks up a linebacker. The play goes for a five-yard gain. A good job of run blocking across the board on this play. Horn had a very solid night and is inching ever closer to making the roster. Henry is a long shot but he did a much better job on this one play than Asiata was able to do run blocking all night.

-4th and 2 at the New York 4-yard line. The Bears line up in a three-receiver, pro set. Hanie looks for WR Johnny Knox in the end zone but the pass is picked off by LB Mark Herzlich. Had Herzlich not made the interception, there were three other Giants that would have had a chance at the ball. Hanie has been throwing into traffic all offseason. It's part of the reason he was demoted earlier this week. He needs to remedy this bad habit.

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Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of BearReport.com and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.


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