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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Breaking down the game film: Bears vs Patriots

We take a look at in-game snapshots of the Chicago Bears loss to the New England Patriots. Picture from Kevin Fishbain of

1. 2nd and 19 for the Bears:

After a holding penalty, the Bears were in a position of 2nd and 19.  They had Brandon Marshall with single coverage on the outside and the high safety out of position.  However, Brandon Browner was blanketing Marshall.  While in theory, throwing to Marshall on the outside is the correct throw, Cutler has to realize that Marshall is just not open.  After the Dolphins loss, Cutler said in a press conference that he needs to take what the defense gives you.  Maybe try looking at the open man in the black triangle.

2. Failed screen pass:
This is a perfectly drawn up screen pass.  You have offensive linemen out in front.  You have wide receivers ready to block.  You have a ridiculously large hole opened up.  The issue?  You have defensive lineman Dominique Easley (who I raved about coming out of the draft), recognize the screen pass and blow up Matt Forte before he has a shot to catch the ball.  It forces Jay Cutler to have to throw the ball to Forte's feet.

3. Wrong target in a zone defense:
 As you can see in the snapshot of the Patriots zone defense, they have all of the short routes bottled up.  Jay Cutler decides to dump it to Matt Forte, who has a linebacker on his tail and a safety (in red circle) coming down.  The lack of preparation shows where the Bears and Jay Cutler don't know where the soft spots of the zone would be.  You can see Alshon and Holmes going to open spots for a big chunk of yardage.  Again, taking what the defense gives you, you go to Alshon, not Forte.

4. 2nd and 4 and who are you throwing it to?!!?!:
The Bears need to get to the 31 to move the chains.  You have Martellus Bennett wide open on the 28 (and a good chance to get the first if he catches the ball).  You have Matt Forte wide open on the 29.  You have Alshon Jeffery wide open on the 42.  So...who do you throw it to?  Of course, Brandon Marshall who has Darrelle Revis all over him and blanket coverage on either side.  This is the epitome of why the Bears offense has been sputtering: wrong reads. 

5. How do you not cover Gronk!?!?:
In what was the biggest downfall of the Bears defense on Sunday was not covering Gronk.  In a zone defense, Gronk gets a clean release and room to run.  Look at the blue space of running room he had.  Did Mel Tucker even watch game film?

6. Deja vu:
Because seeing it once wasn't enough, here's another (of numerous times) where Gronk gets a free release and heads right to open pastures.  It's extremely frustrating.  Anybody that has watched an NFL game this year knew what the Patriot's game plan would be...except Mel Tucker.