Tales from the Tape: Offense

JS goes to the film room and provides an in-depth analysis of the overall performance of Chicago's offense in Sunday's 27-17 loss to the Green Bay Packers at Soldier Field.

First quarter

-1st down. First offensive play of the game. Chicago lines up in a three-receiver set with QB Jay Cutler under center. RB Matt Forte is deep in the backfield with TE Kellen Davis offset to his left. The Bears run a counter to the right side. The front five does a good job of sealing the defensive line to the left. Davis gets a good lead block through the hole to the right. LG Chris Williams pulls behind the line and attempts to put a kick-out block on LB Clay Matthews at the point of attack. Yet Matthews dips his shoulder, slides right around Williams and makes the tackle on Forte in the backfield.

This was a decent play design that had every defender blocked but one. Williams was too slow getting down the line and then flat-out whiffed at his block on Matthews, which allows the defender to take Forte down for a loss. Had Williams been able to get his body on Matthews, Forte would have had a lot of running room to the right side. This play set the tone for Chicago's running game the rest of the day.

-3rd and 9. Cutler is under center with WR Johnny Knox and WR Devin Hester to the right side. Forte is alone in the backfield with Davis wing left. The Packers rush two down linemen and blitz two linebackers, as well as CB Charles Woodson. The front five again offers good protection, with Forte picking Woodson up off the right edge. Cutler steps into the pocket and fires a pass to Knox, who ran a 12-yard hitch, for a first down.


QB Jay Cutler
Rob Grabowksi/US Presswire

The Packers brought the blitz early and often, yet the offensive line appeared to have them figured out for most of the contest. After getting beaten repeatedly by the blitzes of the Saints the week prior, the protection unit had things figured out on Sunday.

-RT Frank Omiyale had two false starts this game, which is pretty much par for the course for him. At home, with no crowd noise to deal with, that is inexcusable.

-2nd down. Cutler hands the ball off to Forte on a draw play. C Roberto Garza and RG Chris Spencer double-team the defensive tackle and neither peels off for a linebacker. Clutts lead through the hole and must choose between linebackers A.J. Hawk and Desmond Bishop. He chooses the right LB, Hawk, but it's at the same time Garza decides to break his double team and also pick up Hawk. This leave Bishop unblocked at the point of attack. At the same time, Omiyale can't lock up Matthews on the right side and the defender is able to penetrate inside. Bishop and Hawk take Forte down for no gain.

This was just poor execution all around from the offensive linemen. There was an unnecessary double team to start the play and then both Clutts and Garza blocked the same LB, leaving Bishop free to make the play. And for the second straight run play, Matthews beat a Bears lineman one-on-one.

-For an in-depth breakdown of S Morgan Burnett's interception of Cutler, click here to view this week's X-and-O Show.

-2nd and 5. Chicago runs the exact same play they did on the team's first offensive play. Williams again pulls too slow and can't get a kick-out block on Matthews, who flies inside and drops Forte for a four-yard loss. Same play, same result.

Second quarter

-2nd and 11. Cutler is under center with WR Dane Sanzenbacher alone in the backfield. Knox is split left, while Fort, Hester and Sam Hurd are bunched to the right. At the snap, Cutler drops back to pass and Sanzenbacher swings into the right flat. Hester runs a drag route and Forte takes off up the right seam. Hurd runs an 11-yard hitch in the middle of the field, in the area between the linebackers and safeties. The offensive line gives Cutler plenty of time and he hits Hurd just before S Charlie Peprah can get there. The play goes for 17 yards.

In my opinion, Hurd is more valuable to the offense than Roy Williams. He's a high-motor player who always gives 100 percent. He's tall and has good hands, and should be utilized more going forward.

-1st down. On the next play, Knox and Hester are out right. Cutler turns and pump fakes a bubble screen to Hester. Knox fakes like he's going to block but then takes off down the right sideline. Both cornerbacks on that side bite on the screen, leaving Knox open. Peprah comes over to cover him but Cutler throws a back-shoulder pass to Knox, who turns and make the catch as he's being hit.


WR Dane Sanzenbacher
Rob Grabowksi/US Presswire

This was a beautiful play call to take advantage of an overly aggressive defense. Cutler then throws the perfect pass, a back-shoulder throw, which is nearly impossible to defend when executed properly. If Cutler had made this same pass to Williams in the first quarter, Burnett would have never been able to intercept that pass.

-On the next play, Roy Williams drops a pass on a quick slant that would have gone for a touchdown. He was hit in the back as the ball got there and couldn't hang on. Two plays later, Cutler finds Sanzenbacher a yard into the end zone. The rookie takes just as big of a hit as Williams but he's able to hang onto the ball. Williams is, by far, the worst receiver on this team.

-On a lot of the Bears' failed run plays, I noticed miscommunication on the right side of the line. This makes sense, as both starters were out with injury, but it's something RG Chris Spencer and RT Frank Omiyale need to get straightened out.

Third quarter

-On the first play of the second half, LG Chris Williams allows DE Jarius Wynn to come untouched through the line for a sack on Cutler. The right OLB was lined up just outside of LT J'Marcus Webb. Williams had to know Webb would be picking up the outside rusher, so it made no sense for him to down block and double-team the nose tackle. Williams made numerous mental and physical errors on Sunday, none more egregious than on this play.

-1st down. The Bears run Forte on a stretch play to the right. NT Ryan Pickett comes off the ball and drives C Roberto Garza into the backfield. Garza gets his body twisted and essentially has his back to the defender. Pickett pushes Garza aside and makes the tackle on Forte for a two-yard loss.

The Bears had one of the worst rushing days of the past 50 years on Sunday but it wasn't a matter of Green Bay stacking the box or using exotic run blitzes. It was simply the front five getting beat on their blocks. On every run by Forte, at least one lineman can't lock up his defender, leaving the Bears' most-dangerous weapon zero room to run.

-The Bears started the second half with three straight three-and-outs. As a result, Green Bay's high-powered offense kept getting chances, while at the same time wearing down Chicago's defense. These stretches of prolonged futility need to end if the Bears are going to be competitive the rest of the season.

-2nd down. Cutler throws a deep pass to Hester down the right sideline. CB Charles Woodson gets turned around and throws his body into Hester while the ball is in the air. Hester gets pushed off his route and can't get to the ball. Yet somehow, the referees do not throw a flag for pass interference.

If Woodson can't even get tossed from a game for throwing an uppercut right in front of a referee, why then did anyone expect the refs to flag him on this play? Like Troy Aikman said on the broadcast after the no call, "Wow."


WR Johnny Knox
Scott Boehm/Getty

-A few plays later, Cutler gets time in the pocket, as he did almost all afternoon, and finds Knox wide open on a post pattern. The ball hits Knox in stride roughly 20 yards downfield but he lets it hit him in the facemask and fall incomplete. This was the fourth Bears drop up to that point in the game. It forced Chicago to punt and gave the Packers the ball with great field position, upon which they capitalized for a touchdown, putting the Bears behind by an insurmountable 17 points.

Fourth quarter

-1st down. Roy Williams lines up on the right side and runs a deep slant. Cutler has time and throws it Williams' way. Yet the pass sails high, a recurring theme for Cutler on Sunday. Williams runs under the ball and S Morgan Burnett pulls down his second interception of the day.

This was a bad pass by Cutler and he should take most of the blame for this turnover. The ball sailed high and was behind the receiver. But Williams, for the third time this game, made no effort at the ball. Burnett made the interception standing right next to Williams. The difference was Burnett went up for the ball and Williams did not. At this point, it's not a matter of bad technique, bad hands or being uncomfortable in the offense, Williams just isn't giving any effort. Plain and simple.

-1st down. The Bears line up in a four-receive set. Hester and TE Kellen Davis are on the right side of the offense. Davis runs a 12-yard in pattern. Cutler has time and delivers a good ball to his tight end. Davis hangs on to the ball, using his strength to shed the hit by Peprah, then turns up field. He literally steps over two defenders and drags a third into the end zone. The touchdown brings the Bears within 10 points with roughly 12 minutes to play in the game.

These are the types of plays Davis is capable of making every game. It doesn't make sense to use him as a blocker. He can't block and keeping him back doesn't allow him to be a threat in the passing game. If Martz can figure out a way to utilize him in the middle of the field, he could really open up the offense and stretch opposing defenses. To this point, his talents have not been utilized to the full benefit of the team.

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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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