-3rd and 1. Bears line up in a strong-left, power-I set with FB Tyler Clutts and RB Kahlil Bell stacked in the backfield. Bell runs off-tackle left. LG Edwin Williams pulls left and gets just enough of LB A.J. Hawk to stop him from taking Bell down in the backfield. Spaeth puts a nice block on OLB Erik Walden and Clutts just destroys CB Charles Woodson on the kickout block. Bell bounces outside and has no one in front of him. He scampers 13 yards for the first down.
The Bears did an outstanding job of establishing the run early. Coordinator Mike Martz called six straight runs to start the game. The blocking was physical and in sync, with Bell running extremely hard behind it. On this play, both Clutts and Spaeth make key blocks, springing the ball carrier for the first down.
-2nd and 8. QB Josh McCown is under center with WR Roy Williams split left. The Packers bring a six-man blitz. RT Lance Louis does a good job sliding OLB Clay Matthews past the pocket. The offensive line picks up the rest of the rush, with help from Bell chipping on the left edge. McCown steps up into the pocket and fires a pass right into the chest of Williams, who makes the catch for a 17-yard gain and a first down.
QB Josh McCown
Jeff Hanisch/US Presswire
This was McCown's first pass of the game. He showed more poise and accuracy on this one play than Caleb Hanie did during his entire four-game stretch as a starter. The line does a good job picking up the blitz. McCown then steps up to avoid the outside rush and slings a perfect pass. A great beginning for a quarterback who made his last NFL start in 2007.
-1st down. Bell runs off-tackle right. TE Kellen Davis does a great job at the point of attack locking up DE C.J. Wilson. Louis kicks out Matthews. C Roberto Garza pulls right and leads up the hole, taking out LB Desmond Bishop. Bell busts through the hole and has just LB A.J. Hawk to beat. Hawk tries to wrap up but the ball carrier but Bell breaks through the arm tackle. The Packers then swarm and it takes four defenders to bring Bell down. The play goes for nine yards.
This was another great example of the offensive line working well together. Davis puts a nice block on Wilson. He has shown vast improvement as a run blocker the past month. Bell again runs hard. He knew he was auditioning for a contract next year and he gave it his all. On this play, he not only breaks a tackle, but he churns his legs and forces half the defense to come up and bring him down. Outstanding effort.
-Martz calls the same exact run on the following play and it picks up nine yards. Again, great blocking at the point off attack but this time, Bell got a good backside block from Edwin Williams, which allowed the runner to cut back and pick up five extra yards. Williams struggled as a run blocker during his first few games as a starter but showed very well in this game. On this run, he does a great job of finding the linebacker and driving him out of the running lane.
-RB Armando Allen runs on a stretch play to the right. Louis locks up on Wilson, yet he stands too high in his block and gets driven back on his heels. Wilson then sheds the block and brings Allen down in the backfield.
Louis is regressing at an alarming rate. His fundamentals are all out of whack and he just can't seem to get back on track. This play was one of many the past month where Louis failed to win the one-on-one matchup.
-3rd and 9. McCown is in shotgun with two receivers to either side. WR Dane Sanzenbacher is in the right slot with Williams split wide. At the snap, Green Bay brings an overload blitz from the right side. McCown stands in the pocket and releases the ball just as he's about to get hit. Williams runs a 15-yard out pattern and the ball hits him in stride. The play goes for a 1st down.
RB Kahlil Bell
Jeff Hanisch/US Presswire
On this play, McCown again stood in the face of the blitz and delivered a perfect pass against man coverage. The Bears converted 50 percent on third downs against the Packers, which is light-years better than what the offense accomplished with Hanie under center.
-The next play, the Bears set up a screen to Bell. Both Garza and RG Chris Spencer miss their blocks in the open field and the runner is smacked as soon as he catches the pass. Bell tries to spin away from the contact and fumbles the ball in the process. McCown makes a heady play and dives in the pile to recover the loose ball.
This was Bell's first of two fumbles on the night. He performed well in every phase of the game except ball security. He'll need to work on that going forward.
-3rd and 8. The Packers bring a six-man blitz but the front five, plus Spaeth, pick everyone up. McCown can't find an open receiver, which gives Matthews time to collapse the pocket from the play's right. Yet McCown steps around the pressure and rolls out of the pocket. He gets the pass off just before Matthews can take him down. Bell catches the ball in the right flat and takes it 19 yards for the first down.
This was great blocking up front by the offensive line on this play. The group didn't allow a sack all night because of outstanding communication and teamwork up front, especially in blitz pickup. McCown again shows great poise under pressure and is able to eventually find the open receiver.
-A few plays later, Allen runs up the middle. Williams locks onto B.J. Raji and completely turns the defender away from the hole, creating a wide running lane. Allen picks up six yards.
Raji is one of the hardest defensive linemen in the league to move. Williams tossing him to the side is one more example of his development as a run blocker.
-Tyler Clutts had a rough night, missing a number of lead blocks. He's regressed a bit the past few weeks and needs to get back to being the hard-nosed blocker he's been for most of the season.
-2nd and 1. Bell runs up the middle right. A pile forms at the point of attack. Bell slows up and cuts back to the left, where there is a huge running lane. He races to the sideline and picks up 20 yards. Bell showed this type of patience and field vision all night, especially as he approached the line of scrimmage, which is crucial for an NFL running back.
-Both Davis and Spaeth had outstanding games as run blockers. Both have been inconsistent this season in that area. I've railed on Davis all year and Speath is primarily responsible for Matt Forte's injury. Yet it was their blocking up front that helped the Bears be so dominant on the ground.
C Roberto Garza
Jeff Hanisch/US Presswire
-Chicago used a lot of zone blocking against Green Bay, which allowed the front five to utilize their quickness at the second level. Garza especially did a good job all game staying on track and locking on to linebackers. Zone blocking also opens up cutback lanes. Bell showed great awareness in using those lanes, then beating defenders in open space. It was a sound strategy executed very well.
-1st and goal from the 2-yard line. Bell runs off tackle left. Chicago stacks both Louis and T Frank Omiyale outside of LT J'Marcus Webb on the left side. Bell bounces outside and Clutts misses his kickout block. S Charlie Peprah comes up and strips the ball from Bell just as he's about to cross the goal line. Edwin Williams sees the ball lying in the end zone and picks it up for the touchdown.
The Bears stacked three offensive tackles on the left edge of the line, building a power front to run behind. Yet the Packers are still able to penetrate. Clutts' missed block then leads to a fumble, which would have been a back-breaking turnover had Williams not been standing right there. The formation revealed the play and Chicago's players didn't execute. They were lucky to score on this play.
-McCown didn't show a lot of arm strength in this game. Earlier in his career, he had a lot of zip on his passes but that apparently has gone away with age. Yet his accuracy was spot on for most of the evening. He threw two costly interceptions, both on poor passes, but he showed enough in this game to have earned the backup QB spot next season.
-2nd and goal from the 1-yard line. The Bears line up in a goal-line set with McCown under center. He fakes a handoff to Bell up the middle and drops back to pass. Matthews gets penetration in the quarterback's face. McCown steps up and around the rush, then finds Davis in the back of the end zone for the touchdown.
This was another great job by McCown of avoiding the rush and keeping his eyes downfield. Davis caught three passes on this drive, after having been shut out up to that point. Whenever the Bears utilize him as a pass catcher, they're able to move the ball. It's a shame they don't do it more often, as he could be a valuable weapon in the passing game.
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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.