BLOCK EM AND BEAT EM!
If the Chiefs, with nine sacks on the season, don’t get to the opposing quarterback, it’s over. That might be true for many teams but it’s particularly true for a team with Justin Houston, Tamba Hali and Allen Bailey. Houston has three sacks and per Gil Brandt leads the league in total pressures with 19. He’s a magnificent player. What are the solutions? Well Hue Jackson, Andy Dalton and Bengals provided them…
- Quick passing game that’s been effective under Cutler through two and a half games. (See the single play breakdown below) The Chiefs secondary is awful so Cutler has to get the ball into the hands of his receivers and give them a chance to make plays.
- Read option looks. Dalton is not a running quarterback but the Bengals showed enough read option, specifically to Houston’s side, to keep the rush on its heels. Can Cutler’s hamstring be healed enough to even hint at the possibility of a run threat?
- Power run game up the middle. This should be a week where the Bears pound Forte up the gut and allow Kyle Long to release off the line of scrimmage after Houston. Houston is an excellent pass rusher but he’s a bit lost in run support. Long should be able to muscle him off the line.
THE GAME POEM
On the head of an arrow
lay a drop of blood
Darker than red
thicker than mud
To feel it
is to remember life
The sharpened blade
of this tribal knife
SINGLE PLAY BREAKDOWN
The first play call for Cincinnati against Kansas City Sunday was a stroke of genius because it set the tone for the entirety of their game plan. Let’s take a look.
Image One: The Formation
Tyler Eifert was lined up in front of Justin Houston on the right side of the offensive line but slid over to the left. Houston, at this point, must think the Bengals are running the ball away from him.
Image Two: The Movement
Eiffel runs a basic drag route under his offensive line. Houston engages him.
Image Three: The 16 Yard Gain
Eifert releases. Houston is caught in no man’s land. He’s not covering Eifert. He’s nowhere near Dalton. 16 yards.
Justin Houston is this good. He demands this kind of precision from the offensive play-caller.
THOUGHT ON THE CHIEFS OFFENSE
Here is what can happen when you throw the ball down the field:
- Catch – positive
- Incompletion – negative, but not a crippling one
- Interception – negative, possibly crippling one
- Illegal Contact – first down
- Holding – first down
- Pass Interference – first down equal to catch
The rules are designed to allow quarterbacks to put the ball in the air. Not taking advantage of those rules is not just conservative. It’s wrong.
IRISH VIDEO OF THE WEEK
(One of those people must be Irish.)
WATCH OUT FOR DE’ANTHONY THOMAS
Dave Toub is the best special teams coach in the NFL and Thomas had a few explosive plays in recent weeks called back due to penalties. With the way the Bears are covering kicks, it might only take one opportunity for Thomas to change the game.
THREE BEARS OF INTRIGUE
- Alex Smith isn’t going over the top of the Bears secondary often. But he likes to hit wide receivers, specifically Jeremy Maclin, in stride. Adrian Amos and whoever lines up beside him have to keep those plays in front of them. Bears can live with 15 yards gains. They can’t allow 15 yard gains to become 40s.
- Vic Fangio has Shea McClellin in position to make plays. Shea isn’t making them. Against an offense that like to hit their tight end over the middle of the field and throw to their back, McClellin will be tested Sunday.
- Marquess Wilson had his best game as a professional Sunday against the Raiders. But can he put back-to-back performances together? If you play a few solid games in a row, that’s called having a season. Throw a few seasons together and suddenly you have a career.
Bears defense lets Chiefs move the ball but closes them down in the red zone, forcing multiple field goals. Cutler and Bears offense take advantage of banged up secondary for some big plays.
Chicago Bears 26, Kansas City Chiefs 22