Fiammetta's block of the season

Bear Report talks with Chicago fullback Tony Fiammetta about his crucial fourth-down block on Monday night, one that preserved a Bears road victory over the Packers.

With the Chicago Bears nursing a four-point lead late in last week's contest against the Green Bay Packers, coach Marc Trestman made the unconventional decision to go for it on fourth down from his own 32-yard line.

"It took a lot of guts for him to make that call there," said fullback Tony Fiammetta. "It goes to show that he trusts players to make the plays."

The play was run out of I-formation, with Fiammetta lined up in front of running back Matt Forte. It was an off-tackle run to the left side, one that was nearly blown up in the backfield.

"It was an outside run and they blitzed A.J. Hawk through the middle," Fiammetta said. "That kind of threw a kink in the plans."

Hawk came through Chicago's offensive line untouched and had a clear path to Forte. That's when Fiammetta made one of the biggest blocks of the season, cutting back to pick up a piece of Hawk before he could make the tackle.

"I had to adjust and reroute and make the block inside," said Fiammetta. "It was more of a lead play but when I saw he was free and running through, I just adjusted."

The block allowed Forte the space he needed to shake off the tackle and pick up one yard for the first down. If Fiammetta doesn't make that block, Forte almost assuredly would have been dropped for a loss, giving Green Bay the ball deep in Bears territory.

"I have good enough confidence in Matt to make a guy miss," Fiammetta said, "but whatever I can do to help."

The first-down run kept the drive alive, allowing the Bears to run out nine of the final 10 minutes in the game and preserve the crucial road victory. As a team, Chicago rushed for 171 yards on the ground against the NFL's fourth-ranked run defense, which is a testament to the blocking of the offensive line and Fiammetta.

"I feel good about [the run game]," Fiammetta said. "Our average is up. We're averaging 4.7 going into that last game, which is very efficient. When it's time to run, we've been getting things done."

The Bears this week square off against the Detroit Lions and their 14th ranked rushing defense. Chicago compiled 131 yards on the ground in Week 4 against the Lions and will be looking to improve on that total this Sunday at Soldier Field.

"They are just a tough front seven," said Fiammetta. "We're going to have to bring our A game and study them harder and learn from what we did. Just really take all of the lessons that we had and grow from that."

If Fiammetta continues to throw game-changing blocks like he did against the Packers, the Bears should be able to keep the ground game rolling.


Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of BearReport.com and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. He is in his third season covering the Chicago Bears full time. Follow Bear Report on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Bear Report Web site or magazine, click here.

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