Bears on Defense: A Pro Bowl Tackle
At the snap, RG Stephen Peterman pulls right as Stafford hands the ball off to Smith on a stretch right play. Ogunleye gets leverage on Heller and drives him toward the sideline. The interior defensive linemen are blocked well, and MLB Nick Roach trips and falls at the line of scrimmage, leaving only WLB Lance Briggs, who slides down the line of scrimmage. As Smith approaches, Briggs blasts through the attempted lead block of Peterman and runs right into the ball carrier. Smith bounces away, but Briggs grabs his foot. At the same time, Ogunleye drives Weller backward into Smith, knocking both the tight end and running back to the ground. The play goes for a 4-yard loss.
Ogunleye's shift just before the snap provided the opening that Briggs needed to make this play. But more impressive is how the two players absolutely manhandle both of the blockers. From the time a football player puts on a helmet, he is told to hit the blocker just as hard as he would the ball carrier. On this occasion, Briggs not only destroys the blocker but is able to get a hold of the running back, as well. This allows Ogunleye, who just overpowers Weller, to finish the play off by throwing the tight end into Smith. This was an example of two very physical and dominant plays by two Pro Bowl defenders.
Bears on Offense: Forte's Clinching Run
At the snap, Cutler gives the ball to Forte off tackle left. LT Orlando Pace blocks down on DT Landon Cohen. LG Frank Omiyale swings around Pace, as TE Desmond Clark drives DE Cliff Avril off the line of scrimmage. Omiyale steps into the hole and picks up LB Julian Peterson, driving him to the inside. At the same time, Clark puts Avril on his back. This opens a gaping hole off the left edge for Forte to run through. At about seven yards downfield, S Louis Delmas steps up to make the tackle, but Forte uses a stutter step and blows right by the defender. He then scampers 37 yards untouched for the touchdown.
On the previous series, the Lions scored to cut the lead to 10. This touchdown was the game clincher. The cross block by Pace and Omiyale was executed perfectly, and Omiyale, who has not shown much so far this season, gets a great block on Peterson to spring Forte. Clark also shows his value in the run game, driving a defensive end eight yards off the line and to the ground. Forte then demonstrates his ability to make defenders miss, using a quick juke to bring Delmas to his knees. This play was blocked so well up front that leader blocker McKie never had to touch anybody.
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Jeremy Stoltz is the editor-in-chief of The Business Ledger, the business newspaper for suburban Chicago. He is a regular contributor to Bear Report and BearReport.com.
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