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The Play That Wasn’t There: Forte Underneath

| September 11th, 2013

This is a new feature on DaBearsBlog to compensate for what is usually the Wednesday doldrums. Each week I will provide a breakdown of a single play from the previous game that didn’t work and try to see a bigger picture.

The play:

1st and 10, Chicago at the Bengals 23 yard line

11:59 remaining in the first quarter

THE FORMATION.

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  • Three out wide right with Earl Bennett, Matt Forte and Brandon Marshall ranging from sideline in.
  • Martellus Bennett in the slot (essentially) left.
  • Alshon Jeffery out wide left.

 THE INTENTION.

  • Forte is circled above and this is play is designed ONLY for him. He is essentially going to delay for a second or two and then cross underneath the defense.
  • Marshall, in the slot, is going to take his defender towards the sideline/corner and essentially out of the play.
  • Earl Bennett will explode off the line of scrimmage into blocking mode and shield the far corner from making a play on the ball.
  • This leave Bengals middle linebacker Rey Maualuga covering Matt Forte.
  • Garza, Slauson and Long will release into the middle of the field and become lead blockers for Forte.

WHAT WENT WRONG.

  • First, the penalty. Slauson & Garza are BOTH guilty of being ineligible receivers down field as the play takes too long to develop.
  • Forte cuts the route too thin and runs into Kyle Long, who is actually caught up with Domata Peko a bit longer than he’d like to be.

BIGGER PICTURE.

  • This is the type of play one expects from a Trestman/West Coast offense, using the lateral crossing routes that made Rich Gannon a league MVP.
  • Look at the rest of this field. Martellus Bennett and Alshon Jeffery have sealed off the deep left side of the field. Garza and Slauson are positioned to take the linebackers out of the play. If the timing is right on this play Matt Forte is going to MAYBE need to shake one tackle to score. It is the kind of play design Chicago never saw in Tice Time and never had time to see in the Martz era.

It is a play that jumped off the screen for its originality and intricacy. It is a sign of things to come.

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