X-and-O Show: Bears vs. Colts

Jeremy Stoltz, our very own Prince of the Playbook, goes to the film room once again and breaks down one offensive snap and one defensive snap for the Chicago Bears from Sunday's 29-13 Week 1 victory over the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Bears on Offense
First quarter. 3rd and 6 at the 50-yard line. The Bears line up in a four-wide receiver set, with QB Kyle Orton under center. Two wide receivers are split to either side, and RB Matt Forte is alone in the backfield. The Colts counter with a dime package, leaving only four down linemen and LB Gary Brackett up the middle. All defensive backs are giving at least a four-yard cushion.


RB Matt Forte
A.J. Mast/AP Images

At the snap, C Olin Kreutz blocks to the left on the defensive tackle, as G Josh Beekman then crosses behind him to kick out on the opposite defensive tackle. Both offensive tackles slide the D-ends downfield, as G Roberto Garza leads upfield. At the same time, Orton turns and hands the ball to Forte straight up the middle. All of the defensive linemen are occupied, as Garza makes a great lead block and clears Brackett out of the play. Forte cuts past Brackett before using a knee-buckling stutter step to get by S Antoine Bethea. He then outraces S Bob Sanders for a 50-yard touchdown run.

This offensive blocking scheme, which utilized two interior kick-out blocks and used a guard as a lead blocker, was a perfect call for a formation that had spread the defense out with four wide receivers. The middle of the Colts defense was weak, as backup cornerbacks had replaced the two outside linebackers and the Bears line did a great job of capitalizing. An addition, it appears Forte is the real deal. His vision in traffic all game long was outstanding, and the move he put on Bethea during this play demonstrated the quickness, agility and speed that should make him a consistent home-run threat.

Bears on Defense
Second quarter. 2nd and 20 at the Indianapolis 2-yard line. The Colts use a two-tight end set, with a wide receiver split on either side. QB Peyton Manning is under center, with RB Joseph Addai by himself in the backfield. The Bears counter with a base 4-3 except that all three linebackers, as well as SS Kevin Payne, are up on the line of scrimmage. Before the snap, WR Marvin Harrison motions inside and resets behind the right tight end – this brings CB Charles Tillman up to the line, as well.


DE Adewale Ogunleye
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

At the snap, the entire Colts offensive line blocks left, as Manning hands the ball off to Addai running in the same direction. The Chicago defensive line gets a strong push up front, with help from linebackers Lance Briggs and Brian Urlacher. They form a wall at the 1-yard line. On the back side, DE Adewale Ogunleye flies past the arm block of TE Gijon Robinson. Ogunleye meets Addai in the end zone and brings him down for a safety.

This play was set up by the one previous, when rookie DT Marcus Harrison sacked Manning for a 10-yard loss, and is one of a few examples of how dominant the Bears defensive line was during this game. They absolutely outplayed the Indianapolis offensive line in both the pass and run game, holding Pro Bowl tailback Addai to just 44 yards on 12 carries before eventually knocking him out of the game. The play of the D-line went a long way toward Chicago's win and will go a long way toward the success of the team this season. It's good to know they're apparently willing to accept that responsibility.

Jeremy Stoltz is a staff writer for The Business Ledger, the business newspaper for suburban Chicago. He contributes frequently to Bear Report and BearReport.com.


Bear Report Top Stories