Welcome one and all, to the first installment of B’s Knees.
In these weekly installments, I will recap the best offensive and defensive series that I saw throughout the game. Then, I will explain how the Bears can build off them for the remainder of the season.
The best offensive series in the game came with 4:29 left in the first half. Let’s call this the “Jordan and Tarik Show.” The drive started with a three-yard rush by Howard. Following that was the highlight reel run by Cohen.
It was a pitch left, he saw that his lanes were plugged up, decided to reverse field, and broke off a huge 46-yard run down the right sideline with Mike Glennon being a lead blocker for a short stint of time.
After these two runs, the Bears ran Howard a couple more times to get the clock down to two minutes. The following three plays in the Red Zone led to the Bears running a play from the Wildcat formation, at the Falcons four-yard line with fourteen seconds left in the first half.
Howard took the hand off from Cohen and ran outside his lead blocker (Glennon … again) to get the ball in the end zone to tie the game at 10-10 right before the half.
The Offensive Big Picture
The Bears offense circled around Cohen and Howard on this drive, which means the focus was on the Bears strengths, their running backs. With a thin group at wide receiver, it was nice to see the backs being used in a variety of ways. Cohen had two rushes for 51 yards and had a reception for three yards that he was also able to draw a penalty on to advance the ball. Howard had five rushes for 19 yards on this eight play drive.
With Kevin White potentially being out for the season with a collarbone injury, we may see more offensive series like this in the future that focus squarely on the running backs. Even if it means running out of the Wildcat!
The Bears best defensive series came at the start of the second quarter. The Bears forced the Falcons to a three-and-out, largely thanks to the paw of 6-foot-7 defensive end Roy Robertson-Harris. The drive started with a five yard run up the middle by Tevin Coleman who was tackled by Mitch Unrein. The following play was another run by Coleman, but was stopped before gaining momentum at the line of scrimmage. Lastly, the third play was a Matt Ryan pass to a wide open Mohammed Sanu, but was batted down at the line by Robertson-Harris.
Short and sweet. Just the way you want those defensive series.
The Defensive Big Picture
This is an example of how the Bears defense has looked under Vic Fangio. Bend, but don’t break. We saw the bend with the Coleman run for five yards on the first play. However, we saw the don’t break with a good run stop by Sam Acho on the line of scrimmage on the second snap, and a clutch defensive play at the line by Robertson-Harris, which prevented a big play from ensuing.
Throughout the game, we saw the Bears linebackers struggle in coverage. That was evident in how the third down play was shaping up until Robertson-Harris batted down the pass at the line. Sanu had all sorts of room to operate if the pass would have been completed. However, in this drive, we also saw how stout the Bears defense was against the run. Only allowing a five-yard run to break out.
If the Bears defense can consistently stop the run on a week to week basis, we should continue to see low scoring affairs like we saw against the high-flying Atlanta Falcons.
I’ll see you next week to break down the best of the best against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.