X-and-O Show: Bears vs. Rams

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 27-3 win over the hapless St. Louis Rams in Week 12 at the Edward Jones Dome.

Bears on Offense: All the Way Forte
Second quarter. 2nd and 6 at the St. Louis 47-yard line. The Bears line up in a three-receiver set. QB Kyle Orton is under center, and RB Matt Forte is alone in the backfield. TE Desmond Clark is on the left edge, with WR Rashied Davis split left and TE Greg Olsen in the slot. The Rams counter with a nickel package. Four down linemen are supported by linebackers Will Witherspoon and Pisa Tinoisamoa. The three cornerbacks are showing man-to-man coverage on the receivers, each giving at least a 5-yard cushion. Safety Corey Chavous is up near the linebackers across from Clark, while safety Oshiomogho Atogwe is alone deep in the secondary.


RB Matt Forte
Jeff Roberson/AP Images

At the snap, Orton turns and hands the ball to Forte running up the middle right. C Olin Kreutz and right guard Roberto Garza double-team DT Cliff Ryan. Clark and right tackle John Tait clear out the defensive ends. G Josh Beekman gets a solid block on DT Adam Carriker, as left tackle John St. Clair pulls behind him. St. Clair leads into the hole and gets a great kick-out block on Tinoisamoa. At the same time, Garza slides off his double-team and picks up Witherspoon. Forte flies through the gaping hole. When he gets to the second level, Atogwe steps up to make the tackle. But Forte puts a sick juke move on him and flies past the safety untouched. Chavous then gets a hand on the running back from behind, but Forte brushes him off and sprints down the hash mark for a 47-yard touchdown run.

This TD put the game out of reach. It was very well executed up front, with each lineman doing his part to open up a huge hole for the ball carrier. The rest is all Forte, who puts a move on the safety reminiscent of his juke on Colts defensive back Antoine Bethea in Week 1. The rookie just keeps on producing like no other running back the Bears have had in a long time. His vision, speed and ability to make tacklers miss point to signs of him being a special player in years to come. If Chicago is to make a serious run at the NFC North crown this year, they are going to have to lean heavily on No. 22.

Bears on Defense: Ogunleye Up the Gut
First quarter. 3rd and 16 at the St. Louis 27-yard line. The Rams employ a three-wide receiver set, with QB Marc Bulger in the shotgun. Two receivers are wide right, with the other receiver split left. RB Kenneth Darby is two yards to Bulger's right, with TE Anthony Becht lined up a yard behind the right guard. The Bears counter with a nickel package. All three receivers are given a big cushion. S Mike Brown is up in the linebacker's spot. Seven players are stationed along the defensive line. Linebackers Lance Briggs and Brian Urlacher are across from the center, with nickel back Danieal Manning outside of left end Adewale Ogunleye.


QB Marc Bulger
Tom Gannam/AP Images

At the snap, both linebackers blitz up the middle and Manning blitzes off the left edge. Urlacher and left tackle Israel Idonije slant hard left. Briggs slants right and is picked up by the center. Both the right tackle and the right guard, as well as Darby and Becht, become occupied with Urlacher, Idonije and Manning. At the same time, Ogunleye slides down the line behind the rushers and into the area vacated by the center and guard. There is a huge hole there, and Ogunleye rushes through it and has a free shot at the QB. Bulger is taken down by No. 93 for an 8-yard loss, forcing the Rams to punt.

This play effectively ended Bulger's day, as he came out of the game with a slight concussion. The execution on this play was perfect, as the two-man blitz on the left side, as well as Idonije's rush, drew the attention of the four offensive players on that side. Additionally, Briggs' blitz to the right of the center created a wide hole in the middle of the line through which Ogunleye could run. This was one of five sacks in the game for the Bears D and the first in what seems like a month. The Chicago secondary has been much maligned this season for opposing team's ability to pass at will, but a lot of the blame can be heaped on the defensive line, as well, which has gotten no pressure on the quarterback of late. If the D-line can step it up down the home stretch, this defense has a chance to get back to their elite form.

Jeremy Stoltz is the Editor in Chief of Bear Report and also a regular contributor to BearReport.com. E-mail him at jeremy.stoltz@gmail.com.


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