Bears on Defense: Fitz's Double Move
At the snap, Warner drops back to pass. Afalava blitzes but is picked up by Hightower. The defensive line offers no pass rush, and Warner is able to step into the pocket. At the same time, Fitzgerald runs 15 yards downfield and then breaks inside as if running a post pattern. Tillman bites on the move before Fitzgerald stops and breaks toward the sideline, leaving the defender in no-man's land. Warner fires a pass to the right-front corner of the end zone, where Fitzgerald is standing by himself. The receiver makes the catch and then reaches the ball across the pylon for a touchdown.
This defense has failed to make pre-snap adjustments all year, which has cost them dearly. On this play, Afalava blitzed from the same side as Fitzgerald, leaving Tillman alone to cover arguably the best receiver in the NFL. He never stood a chance. The defense should have recognized this situation and called off the blitz. Either that, or they should have rolled the free safety to Fitzgerald's side and taken their chances with one-on-one coverage against Breaston and Patrick. Instead, they do neither, and Fitzgerald makes Tillman look silly. This play was doomed from the start, and no one on the defensive side of the ball had the wherewithal to make the necessary adjustment.
Bears on Offense: Deep to Olsen
At the snap, all receivers release downfield and Forte slips into the flat. Wilson drops back in coverage as Dansby blitzes up the middle. DE Calais Campbell uses a rip maneuver to work his way around RT Chris Williams and into the backfield. Cutler feels the pressure from Dansby and Calais and rolls left. At the same time, Olsen streaks down the right hash with Wilson on his inside hip. At 15 yards, he drifts into the middle of the field away from S Matt Ware. As Olsen reaches the end zone, Cutler lets fly a laser beam. Olsen breaks across the end line to Wilson's left and catches the 33-yard pass for a touchdown.
With no offensive line and no running game to speak of, as well as absolutely no defensive support, Cutler did his utmost to carry the Bears on his shoulders and nearly orchestrated a comeback. He passed for 369 yards and connected with Olsen three times for touchdowns. It seems as if the chemistry everyone expected from Olsen and Cutler all season has finally arrived. On this play, Wilson had good position on Olsen, but the defender lost track of the ball for a split second, which was just enough time for Cutler to fire the pass behind him. Olsen made a great adjustment and a good catch. It's good to know that even though every other aspect of the team needs an overhaul, the team can at least rely on these two.
Agree? Disagree? Let your voice be heard on our message board RIGHT HERE.
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.
X-and-O Show: Cardinals vs. Bears
Bear Report Top Stories
Bears sign WR Victor CruzThe Chicago Bears have signed former New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz to a one-year contract.
Bear ReportYesterday at 12:11 PM
Bears QB room a work in progressWith so many new faces at the most important position in football, the Chicago Bears quarterback room is in a state of flux, a problem that will be exacerbated if the team's brutal…
Bear ReportYesterday at 10:55 AM
Bears 2017 OTA Notebook: Week 1We empty the notebook from the first practice of Chicago Bears off-season training activities (OTAs) open to the media, which was our first opportunity to see the entire 90-man…
Bear ReportTuesday at 11:54 AM
Chicago Bears 2017 OTAs PrimerWe break down the top Chicago Bears storylines heading into off-season training activities (OTAs), which will be conducted over the next three weeks.
Bear ReportMonday at 11:15 AM
Bears Rookie Film Review: WR Tanner GentryFilm analysis of Chicago Bears rookie wide receiver Tannery Gentry, an undrafted free agent out of Wyoming who was one the most impressive players at rookie minicamp.