For all intents and purposes, the Chicago Bears 22-0 loss to the Denver Broncos in last week's preseason opener was a horror show. Very little went right, particularly on the offensive side of the ball.
Yet defensively, there were two glaring bright spots that deserve our attention.
First-round rookie Leonard Floyd and fourth-year defensive end Cornelius Washington, the club's 2013 sixth-round draft pick, stood out amongst the second team defensive unit. Here's why.
The Broncos will execute a zone run left with RB Ronnie Hillman. Washington (blue) is lined up at weak-side defensive end.
Washington uses an underneath rip move to shed the reach block and penetrate into the backfield.
Washington closes as if shot out of a cannon and takes down Hillman for no gain.
Analysis: This will start a trend with Washington as we go forward, one where he consistently utilizes his blend of burst, power and short-area quickness. Washington locks up with the blocker at the snap but is able to gain inside leverage before using a rip move to enter the backfield. His closing speed and explosion at impact are top-tier.
This snap offers Floyd a one-on-one opportunity off the right edge.
Floyd uses a quick swipe and swim move to cut inside of the tight end's block attempt. This forces the right tackle to help.
Floyd commands the double team but he explodes inside and splits the blocks. At the same time, Washington (red) has has beaten the right guard, who has no help from the RT, who is trying to block Floyd.
Floyd and Washington collapse the right side of the pocket, forcing Broncos QB Mark Sanchez to step up into the pocket and deliver a hurried throw.
Analysis: The Broncos try to block Floyd one-on-one with a tight end and Floyd makes them pay. He shoots upfield at the snap before quickly cutting inside and taking advantage of the off-balance blocker. This forces the RT to swing out and double Floyd, which then offers Washington a one-on-one look against the RG, which he exploits. Floyd and Washington make a mess of the entire right side of Denver's offensive line on this snap.
The Broncos run a stretch play right. Washington (blue) is the play-side DE, while rookie Jonathan Bullard (red) is the weak-side DE.
Washington works up the outside shoulder of the left guard and is able to penetrate two yards into the backfield. On the back side, Bullard goes unblocked and crashes down the line of scrimmage.
Washington forces the running back to cut back inside, right into the waiting arms of Bullard and ILB John Timu. The play goes for no gain.
Analysis: Washington gains leverage at the snap and uses his power to muscle his way into the backfield. Denver's LG just goes along for the ride, which forces the running back inside where Washington has help. Another disruptive one-gap play by Washington.
Floyd will come off the right edge in a single-block scenario against the right tackle.
Floyd uses a speed rush, drops his shoulder and turns the corner.
Floyd flushes QB Trevor Siemian out of the pocket.
Analysis: This is a pure speed rush from Floyd, showing off his ability to bend around the corner. The RT rides Floyd through the pocket but his pressure shuts down the play and forces the QB to tuck and run.
3rd and 7 with Floyd (blue) coming off the right edge and Washington (red) rushing from the nose tackle position.
In the middle, Washington powers through a double team, while Floyd works his way around the corner.
The combined pressure from Washington and Floyd forces Siemian to again abandon the pass play and run with the football.
Siemian is unable to reach the line of scrimmage and is sacked by Timu.
Analysis: At the snap, Washington goes into beast mode. He uses excellent pad level and leg drive to split the double team and immediately penetrate into the backfield. Floyd isn't able to clear the right tackle but he does collapse the pocket. The combined pressure from these two results in a sack for Timu.