Breakdown: Defense vs Bears


So things happened man.  One of those things was zone running.  The Bears were zoning inside and outside runs all day long and with the exception of 1 drive that came after the Cousins INT, the Skins were ready for it and stopped it: (inside zone)

First run:


At the line: Baker and Kerrigan are slanting.  This does two things:

  • it messes up the pre-snap zone blocking assignments of the O-lineman
  • clogs up the inside gaps (A gaps) which are the primary gaps offenses want to run inside zone through.
In combination with slanting our lineman we also shifted Foster inside to add extra support against any inside run.  To replace him we would bring down a DB, in this case Bashaud was already lined up in position to replace Foster’s old alignment.  Notice how Breeland is 5 yards off of the line of scrimmage (LOS).  He has no problem playing run support at LB depth:
The next run that came on an actual running down (i.e. not 2nd and 27), happened on the next drive at their 7:
Foster slides his alignment inside and stacks over top of Knighton.   Knighton and Smith will slant left, clog up the middle and force the RB to cut back.  Unlike the last play however, DB support is 9 yards away, not 5.  That’s understandable since Goldson’s pay check is linked to him not getting beat deep but if you’re going to slant your D-lineman then where they slant from is going to be exposed.  Asking Foster to come all the way from the hash and replace Smith is asking a lot.

That play is followed by Cutler trolling us:

Later in the drive, the Bears dial up another inside zone play and it is a PERFECT side-by-side comparison showing what Foster brings with his block shedding compared to Compton:3_IZ_FosterComptonSidebySide1


Foster has a knack for knowing exactly when to side step an oncoming blocker.  His hand to hand isn’t bad either.  Whereas Compton sticks to blocks.

The next drive opens up with more of same:

  • ILB shifts inside
  • we slant and clog up the middle
  • RB cuts the run backside
  • DB is too far back to stop the RB


That one is on Blackmon.  He is in the same position that Bashaud was in on the first play.  Bashaud played 5 yards off the line and was able to help before the RB gained momentum.  Here, Blackmon decides he’s fine at 8 yards deep and by the time he makes contact with the RB, ‘mass x acceleration’ heavily favors the RB and he falls forward for 5 yards on 1st and 10.

So the very next play we walk up Goldson pre-snap:


As soon as he gets to LB depth, Cutler makes a check to a different play.
2 plays later, it’s inside zone:

On this play both guards are uncovered (meaning no defensive player is over top of them to the side the ball is being run too.) The guards are supposed to get to the second level and block the linebackers, in this case Compton and Foster.

Instead Jean-Francois and Golston slant left and take out both guards.  First lets look at Jean-Francois:


Pre-snap, based on alignment, the guard was supposed work up to the LB (Foster) and the tackle was supposed to continue blocking Jean-Francois.  However because JF slanted into the guard, the guard couldn’t get to the LB and the tackle couldn’t reach Jean-Francois.  So mid-play the guard and tackle switch assignments and the tackle has to now adjust his aiming point to the LB.  He’s late in doing so:


The whole time that was going on, Golston was leaning into his guard so he couldn’t reach Compton:



After all that, the Bears chilled with the inside zone stuff and instead opened up the 2nd half with a Sweep.  A sweep is where the Center and Tackle are pulling in the same direction the RB is going.  It’s a good playcall for slower O-lineman that can’t run outside zone very well.  Instead of running sideways and trying to reach block their man, the Guard and Tight End can simply turn and seal out their man.

The following pic shows the relation of Baker, Foster and Preston Smith.  As the play gets strung out wide you would like to see that triangular relation stay about the same.




Smith gets removed off the line by Zach Miller who might be one of the worst blocking tight ends he’ll face all year.  Getting pushed that far back also altered the pursuit path of Foster who had to go way more horizontal than he wanted:

I’m guessing the Bears couldn’t believe they found a blocking mismatch for Miller because they tried the exact same play later in the game:


Instead of Baker next to Smith, it’s backup Frank Kearse.  Kearse absolutely sucked in this game FWIW.  Anyways, this time Smith destroys Miller and that allows Foster to pursue the way he should.  Both guys converge to the RB and Smith makes an awesome play:


Smith killed Zach Miller with one hand.  Kearse OTOH got sealed and taken out the play.  Had the RB seen that he could’ve cut it up field behind Smith for a ton of yards.



A change up run that zone running teams use is called ‘Power’:

In the ‘Power’ run play, the tight end (Y) blocks the defensive end while the backside guard wraps around the line and blocks the first thing he sees (blocking rules for the guard can vary.)  Google “power run play” and you’ll find a ton of articles that go way more in depth.

Mason Foster knows how to defend Power.  The Bears ran Power 3 times and every time (or close to it) Foster would follow the pulling guard, sneak in behind him and get in the backfield:



Power is a useful change up to inside zone because it can punish defensive lineman for being too aggressive with their slanting (the blocking scheme of Power uses the slanting momentum of the D-lineman against them.)  I feel like the Bears would’ve used Power more often if Foster didn’t keep blowing it up.

Defensive Line:

Player + Total Notes
Knighton 7 1.5 5.5 Wow.  More on this later.
Baker 5 3.5 1.5 Still hurt.
Kerrigan 8.5 1.5 7 Still the best.
Jean-Francois 2 1 1 Great run stuffer.  Dissapears on passing downs.
Golston 2 1 1 Fine as a backup nose.
Hatcher 0.5 0 0.5
Kearse 0 5.5 -5.5 Not ready.  Forced into duty b/c of injuries.
Totals 25 14 11 Good run stopping unit.  Need Hatcher to make it a good pass rushing unit

John Keim had an interesting tidbit that might explain the uptick in Knighton’s performance:

Nose tackle Terrance Knighton played his best game of the season, especially early when he was a strong presence. He used what he learned in Denver to help. That’s where he spent two years defending Adam Gase’s offense. With Gase now in Chicago, Knighton anticipated certain calls at the line of scrimmage — whether protection or audibles — to have changed. They did not, at least not all of them. “I recognized a lot of the verbiage.

That makes sense.  Knighton was moving around pre-snap more than I’ve ever seen.  Usually he plops down at 1-tech and patiently waits for the snap before getting owned by the guard or center.  In this game he looked like he knew exactly when to shoot his gap and when to change up his alignment.  His uptick in performance was probably a one-off but we’ll see.

Pressure score:  +7, -9 = -2.  Given the personnel, I’ll take it.


Player + Total Notes
Foster 8.5 6.5 2 Him and Riley would be great.  Except they wouldn’t know where to line up apparently…
Compton 6.5 4 2.5 Way better than last week
Murphy 3 2.5 0.5 He got +3 for the sack-strip-fumble play
Smith 3 2.5 0.5
Totals 21 15.5 5.5  

Defensive Backs:

Player + Total Notes
Jarrett 2 2.5 -0.5
Breeland 2.5 2.5 0
Dhall 1.5 4 -2.5
Dunbar 0.5 3 -2.5
Goldson 0 4 -4
Blackmon 0 1 -1
Totals 6.5 17 -10.5 I wouldn’t put too much stock into this score.  It’s tough to see what the DBs are doing on each and every play.  Run support was lacking though.
Coverage 9 18 -9 Yikes.  50 yard wheel route + bad technique and a busted coverage from Dhall and Goldson on the Slant TD pass accounted for -5.


I counted 7 explosive plays (plays of 15 yards or more) which is more than I’m used to seeing.  One was a back shoulder throw to Alshon, which…what are you gonna do.  Another was a Cutler Special where he was able to run around and play backyard football.  That leaves 5 explosive plays attributed to the secondary.  Again, given the personnel we have:  I’ll take it.

They got Foster on a wheel route for 30 yards.  Usually we have Blackmon or Riley covering those but, like, injures suck man.

And then their was the 50 yarder:

That looked like DHall didn’t get over in time.  It also could’ve been that Dunbar is supposed split the difference between the two deep WRs.  Maybe even switch to #1.  Either DHall or Dunbar goofing up would follow the storyline of ‘still learning new position.’  The only other explanation I can think of is that Blackmon should have carried the out and up route like a flat zone defender carries the wheel.  FWIW they pulled DHall after that play for Jarrett.

What does it all mean?

The Bears have 2 guys from Oregon (center Hroniss Grasu and right tackle Kyle Long) and a guy that played for Rich Rodriguez (right guard Patrick Omameh) so the Bears love them some zone running.  The Skins responded early with slants, stacking linebackers inside (over A gaps) and bringing down a DB for run support.  For the most part it worked in stopping their inside and outside zone runs.  Except for Drive #7.  That drive was just weird.

  • First Foster plays completely out of character and attacks the wrong way.  He’s going left while the flow of the run is going right.  That’s 4 yards.
  • Then Compton, in a moment of dementia, is like ‘what run lol’ and goes to cover the WR bubble screen.  No safety replaces him in the box, he just goes.  That’s 10 yards.
  • DHall makes a horrible tackle attempt.  He was hitting guys hard all game long, and in the Dallas game, all of a sudden he’s scared to tackle?  That’s 7 yards and a touchdown.


That’s 3 runs for 21 yards.  If we can chalk that whole 3 play drive–which happened after the Cousins’ INT–as an anomaly, we are looking at a banged up defense that gave up 66 yards on 19 carries (3.4ypc) for the game.  Even if we count that drive it becomes 22 carries for 87 yards which is just a hair under 4 ypc.  Given our current personnel:  I’ll take it.


Drive 1 (6:25)
Ln Dn Ds RB TE Off Formation Def Formation R/P(Rush) Play Call Yards
B28 1 10 1 1 Shotgun 3×1 tight Nickel Over Run Inside Zone 3
Knighton (+0.5) holds up a double long enough for Compton to get within 1 yard of the LOS before meeting a blocker, this is enough for the RB to check out of the playside A and B gaps.  Baker (+1) slants into the cutback A gap and shuts that down while drawing a double.  Foster also attacks this gap, which was his presnap, but he probably could have scraped down a few gaps as Baker looks to have that shut off.  Kerrigan (+1) is in a 7 tech and protects his C gap and disengages from his block.  Breeland (-0.5) has force and takes a questionable angle to the RB which allows him to cut inside for 3 yards.  We are playing with an 8th man in the box in safety Jarrett lined up over the trips side.  They ran a bubble to the backside to probably keep him in check from cheating to hard against the run.
B31 2 7 1 1 Shotgun 3×1 tight Nickel Over Pass(4) Hook 10
This time Breeland and Jarrett switch sides with Breeland lined up over the trips side and a 1/2 box defender vs the run, and Jarret lined up over the TE to the open side (1 receiver side.)   We rush 4 and get no pressure (pressure -1).  The TE is able to get a full yard separation from Jarrett (-1) (coverage -1)
B41 1 10 1 Shotgun empty 3×2 Nickel Over Pass(4) Sack -7
TE lines up to the field this time prompting us to nest Compton with Baker and Murphy lined up underneath him.  Cover 3 deep and 4 underneath with Blackmon and Goldson taking Curl-Flat and the ILB’s taking Hook.  Knighton (+2) (pressure +1) splits a double team and gets the sack, wtf.
B34 2 17 1 1 Shotgun 2×2 Nickel Split Run Power O (Pen) -10
They are taking advantage of Baker and Kerrigan’s slanting by gap blocking them down and wrapping a guard around them.  Baker (+0.5) holds up his double and Kerrigan (+0.5) from a 7 tech with a TE outside him, defends the C-gap and again manages to extend his arms for separation.  The line did it’s part but the backers are all kinds of wrong.  Foster spills this play outside when he has help inside from Compton.  He should be playing force and hitting the pulling guard with his inside shoulder.  Compton (-0.5) takes a false step backwards.  He’s moving before getting a key.  Breeland (-1) got punished and loses secondary contain.  Ok Foster got held and was pressing that gap to make a play which to be fair he probably could have made if not held.  So I’m taking away the minus and awarding Foster (+1).
B24 2 27 1 1 Shotgun 3×1 Nickel over Run Draw 3
Baker gets turned around, but he’s selling out for pass it looks like.  They wrap the Center behind the guard and run a modified inside zone.  The RB picks the wrong hole imo, could’ve cut it up field between the 1 and 3 tech.  Jarrett (+1) has a great diagnosis of the play and runs downhill hard and fast, misses the tackle but slows the RB enough for Kerrigan (+0.5) to disengage from his block and make the tackle.
B27 3 24 1 1 Shotgun 2×2 Dime Split Pass(4) Screen 9
Jarrett (+0.5) sifting through traffic for the tackle.
Punt.  2:37 remains 1st qtr.  7-0.
Drive 2 (14:12)
Ln Dn Ds RB TE Off Formation Def Formation R/P(Rush) Play Call Yards
B7 1 10 1 1 Ace 3×1 Twins WR Nickel over Run Inside zone 9
Looks like outside zone but after 1 step they have us all hooked and sealed because we slant the line left.  The run is away from the TE.  Knighton (-1) gets pushed way to far inside and that causes Compton to freeze as he has to clear the gap Knighton left open before he can scrape over.  As the line slants left the backers need to work hard over top to the right.  Compton has an excuse but Foster (-1) hesitates too much and gets stuck to a block from a releasing guard and loses contain on the outside.  Goldson has to come from 13 yards deep to make a play.  We slanted with no overhang defender on the backside, that left us pretty exposed.
B16 2 1 1 1 Shotgun 3×1 tight Nickel Over Run Tight Zone Keeper 5
We bring the safety Jarrett to the line so we have a 3-5/7-9 to the strong side.  5 on the line with 2 backers plus Dunbar gives us 7.5 in the box.  They take Dunbar out with bubble action.  They option Kerrigan (-1) who understandably crashed on the RB.  That leaves 2 free blockers to seal out the ILBs and Cutler is free to roam for the first.
B21 1 10 1 1 Shotgun 3×1 tight Nickel Over Run Counter Power O -1
TE lines up to the boundary and we shift our line to him.  Kerrigan has 7 tech inside the TE and they run Power O to his side again.  Knighton (+1.5) read this beautifully and swims right past the rookie to get in the backfield and destroy the counter action from the RB.  Jean-Francois (+1) eats up a double from the guard and Tackle which allows Foster (+0.5) to scrape over top and press the gap inside the pulling guard.  Bashaud (+1) runs downhill hard as the force and ends this play.  That double Jean-Francois ate up even allowed Compton to come over top as the trail defender.
B20 2 11 1 1 Shotgun 3×1 Nickel over Pass(5) Flat Inc
TE is an H-Back to the field.  Smith lined up in a wide 9 outside him.  7 in the box with Jarrett coming down to play 7 tech at LB depth.  We send 5 with Foster (pressure +1) blitzing.  That forces a high throw out of bounds
B20 3 11 1 1 Shotgun 3×1 tight Dime Split Pass(4) Spot 11
We have 2 deep, rush 4 and play 5 underneath.  Jarrett (-0.5) (coverage -1) (pressure -1) could probably widen his zone more towards the trips side.  I understand he’s worried about the TE on a In route but the TE is bracketed by Bashaud underneath (albeit more of a curl-flat zone) and a safety over top.  The real fault lies with no pressure getting to the QB, Cutler had almost 5 seconds with nobody in his face to throw it.
B31 1 10 1 1 Shotgun 3×1 Bunch Nickel Over Pass(4) Tunnel Screen 16
Line is all backups except for Kerrigan.  LB’s shift to the field and Goldson comes down to the boundary in the box to make 7.  This puts us in 1 high with Breeland playing a Cover 3 cushion, and we’re dead pre-snap.  The Bunch set has the numbers to set up the blocks.  Compton (-0.5) can’t rip past the block by the Tackle in space and ends up losing his feet and missing the tackle.  I won’t minus Breeland, but this is something the Bears do a lot of, I’m surprised he wasn’t checking for it.
B47 1 10 1 1 Shotgun 2×2 Nickel Over Run Inside Zone 2
LBs shift over to the field and Jarrett comes down hard from the boundary in the box as the 7th defender and keeps contain.  Kerrigan (+1.5) squeezes down the line, defending the C gap and punishes the TE, dislodges and makes the play.  Kearse (-1) got blown out of his B gap where the RB was cutting up into.  Foster (+1) side stepped his blocker to make sure this play didn’t go for much while Compton (-0.5) sticks to his block.
B49 2 8 1 1 Shotgun 3×1 Twins WR Nickel over Pass(4) TE Out Inc
Zone coverage, Compton (+1) (coverage +1) takes away the inside and accelerates hard outside to make the throw and catch as difficult as possible.
B49 3 8 1 1 Shotgun 2×2 3-2-6 Okie Pass(3) In 12
We try to adjust out of an Okie look but can’t as Cutler snaps it too quickly.  We’re a mess (coverage -1)
R39 1 10 1 1 Shotgun 3×1 Nickel Over Pass(4) PA Sack Fumble
Murphy (+3) blows by his man and gets a sack-fumble-recovery.  Looks like he faked the bull-rush, got the Tackle to lean forward then used his momentum against him and okie doked right by him.
Turnover.  9:46 remains 2nd qtr.  14-0.
Drive 3 (7:27)
Ln Dn Ds RB TE Off Formation Def Formation R/P(Rush) Play Call Yards
B22 1 10 1 2 Shotgun 3×1 tight (6OL) 3-4 over Run Tight Zone 5
Both sides have a TE tight with the trips side being an OL.  Knighton (+0.5) holds up his double, he and Compton take away the A gaps.  Baker kinda holds up his double well enough and Foster comes next to him to take away the cutback C gap.  Murphy and Kerrigan set the edges.  Jean-Francois slants into the playside B gap and it’s iffy on how well he holds the line but it’s good enough to make the RB cut outside of him, where Blackmon (-1) fails to fill his gap properly.  His key had to be the TE.  The TE fan blocked and that should’ve been his signal to come crashing down.  Also his alignment was way to deep.  The LBs shifted over to the boundary, and up till now whenever the LBs shift the DB that comes down does so pre-snap.  He’s 8 yards deep at the snap.  No bueno.
B27 2 5 1 1 Ace 2×1 (6OL) 3-4 over Run Outside zone 4
ILBs shift to the boundary where the extra OL and TE line up.  Goldson comes down to make it 8 in the box.  Knighton (+1) gets penetration and pushes the center 4 yards into the backfield which does slow down the RB’s path a little.  Foster (+0.5) knocks into playside guard, stuns him, then runs with the play up the LOS.  Baker (+1) is owning Long the whole ride up the line until finally he slowed him down enough to where the guard behind him gets his feet tangled and both guard and tackle fall down.  Compton (+1) clears out a path for all the backside pursuit by pressing the line and taking out the extra OL.  Knighton, Foster, Baker and even Goldson have any cutback destroyed.  Murphy (-1) can’t hold the edge–you had one job–versus a tight end.  He didn’t get reached but he didn’t string out the block wide enough either.  The RB gets around Murphy and up field.
B31 3 1 1 1 ?? ?? Pen Offsides 5
Jean-Francois (-1)
B36 1 10 1 1 Ace 2×1 (6OL) 3-4 over Pass(4) PA Wheel 30
They motion the TE away from the extra OL side.  PA is inside zone.  We send 4 and have 2 safeties deep.  Both corners are man to man, Foster (-1) (coverage -1) has curl-flat, Compton has hook, Murphy has curl-flat.  Usually Riley or Blackmon has curl-flat responsibility but Foster is stuck in that role with Riley out and the Bears with 6 OL in.  He gets beat badly.  Pressure was pathetic (pressure -1)
R34 1 10 1 1 Ace 2×1 H WR Twins (6OL) 3-4 under Run Split zone 2
TE as an H Back to the boundary with the extra OL.  Dhall is man to man with the TE and acts as the 8th in the box.  Kerrigan (-0.5) executes a block down-step down technique but gets too far upfield of the pulling H-Back.  Inside of him Jean-Francois (+1) slants and blunts the guard from getting to the second level.  Tackle has to switch responsiblity and is late in getting to Foster.  The running back can’t take it playside because Golston (+1) knifes through a double and forces the RB to cut it back, and keeps Compton clean until the RB cuts back.  Foster (+0.5) sheds the Tackle block as he came off of Jean-Francois by stepping around it and makes the play on the RB.  Compton (+0.5) assists.
R32 2 8 1 2 Ace 2×2 3-4 over Pass(4) Spot(pen) -10
Compton (-1) (coverage -1) has inside leverage on the TE and loses it as he drifts after the QB and loses his man in coverage.  Kerrigan (+1) (pressure +1) draws the hold and Golston (+0.5) applies pressure to the inside.  Kearse (-1) lost his pass rush lane after he lost his base and gave up contain.
R42 2 18 1 1 Shotugn 3×1 Nickel Over Pass(4) Circle (pen) -10
Blatant OPI.  They need to practice that one a liiiitle bit more
B48 2 28 1 1 Shotgun 3×1 Nickel Over Pass(4) Hook Inc
Akward throw and catch.
B48 3 28 1 1 Shotgun 2 Back Dime Wide 9 Pass(4) Flat 11
We let them have it.
Punt.  2:55 remains 2nd qtr.  14-0.
Drive 4 (1:10)
Ln Dn Ds RB TE Off Formation Def Formation R/P(Rush) Play Call Yards
B42 1 10 1 1 Shotgun 3×1 Dime Split Pen False Start -5
Blackmon was about to blitz.
B37 1 15 1 1 Shotgun 3×1 Dime Split Pass(4) Circle 7
Jarrett (-0.5) loses his feet and misses the tackle, Hatcher (+0.5) hustles back to make the play.
B39 2 8 1 1 Shotgun 3×1 Dime under Pass(4) Go Inc
WTF is Goldson doing robbing a circle route.  Eddie Royal was wide open deep as Compton passed him off to where a deep player should have been.  Goldson (-1) (coverage -1).  Breeland (-1) got beat too but Cutler overthrew it.
B39 3 8 1 1 Shotgun 3×1 Dime split Pass(5) Cutler Special 41
Jarrett gets nothing on his blitz (pressure -1) (coverage +1) and Hatcher stunts into him.  I think that’s just a product of Jarrett getting no movement towards the QB.  That combo gives Cutler a big hole to step up in and buy time.  He just wings it like he’s Rex Grossman.
R20 1 10 1 1 Shotgun Empty 3×2 Bunch Dime Over Pass(4) Corner Inc
Murphy (-0.5) gets too far up field on his pass rush, pressure overall is zero (pressure -1).  Dunbar (-1) (coverage -1) got beat bad by a RB.
R20 2 10 1 1 Shotgun 3×2 Dime Over Pass(4) Back Shoulder 20
Blackmon can’t handle Alshon.  Little bit of OPI going on that wasn’t called.
Touchdown.  18 seconds remain 2nd qtr.  14-7.
Drive 5 (15:00)
Ln Dn Ds RB TE Off Formation Def Formation R/P(Rush) Play Call Yards
B20 1 10 1 3 I Form 1WR (6OL) 3-4 over Pass(4) PA RB out Inc
Coverage downfield was good enough vs Alshon.  Foster lost the RB but overall (coverage +1)
B20 2 10 1 1 Shotgun 3×1 tight Nickel Over Run Sweep 7
Baker (+1) fights off the reach block and disengages from the blocker to pursue the RB while getting in the backfield.  Dunbar sets the edge, if you can call it that, vs an OL.  Preston Smith (-1.5) gets blown back 3 yards by a bad blocking TE.  This ruins Foster’s (+1) path to the RB.  He still comes over top of Smith and presses the correct gap, fights off a diving block from a pulling OL, and makes a diving tackle.
B27 3 3 1 1 Shotgun Empty 3×2 Bunch Dime Split Pass(5) Sack
Kerrigan (+1) (pressure +1) (coverage +1) beats the tackle with a speed rush.  Man, Kyle Long has had a long day.
Punt.  13:35 remains 3rd qtr.  14-7.
Drive 6 (8:00)
Ln Dn Ds RB TE Off Formation Def Formation R/P(Rush) Play Call Yards
B20 1 10 1 1 Shotgun 3×1 tight Bunch Nickel Over Run Sweep 2
TE to the boundary and they run a sweep there.  Kerrigan is already in the 7 tech and gets sealed, but gets penetration.  Baker (-0.5) takes one step inside as he was going to slant but realizes it’s a sweep and changes direction.  He gets sealed but fights off the block–wow–and continues pursuit to the sideline.  Love this guy.  Foster (+1.5) sheds the block from a pulling tackle and makes the play.  Bashaud sets the edge vs the pulling center.  DHall helps clean up.
B22 2 8 1 1 Shotgun Empty 3×2 Nickel over Pass(4) Spot 12
Coverage is busted pre-snap.  Blackmon switches with Foster and something aint right.  Compton walls off 3, so he might be in the right position but with Blackmon taking Curl-flat, and foster taking the TE man, the Hook zone is voided.  It looks like Foster is supposed to stay in the middle.  Can’t be sure though.  That’s why there is a coverage metric: (coverage -1)
B34 1 10 1 1 Ace 3×1 Bunch Nickel Over Run Tight zone 9
Cutler might realize we are confused and goes no huddle.  Baker (-2) not ready and the OL gets under his pads and drives him back 9 yards, wow.  Knighton (-0.5) also not ready but holds up his double better than Baker.  Foster (-1) is responsible for 2 gaps and Baker isnt helping.  Foster misses the tackle inside.  DHall finally stops the RB after a 9 yards.
B43 2 1 1 1 Shotgun 3×1 Nickel over Run Power O (Pen) 3(+15)
Baker slants from his Bgap/3 tech to the A gap opposite Knighton’s A gap to help stop the tight zone inside run.  Both A gaps are blocked.  Problem is…this isn’t tight zone, it’s power O.  Preston Smith (-0.5) takes the C gap and Dhall has the D gap/contain.  That leaves the B gap unaccounted for (the one Baker slanted from).  Smith (+1) destroys and sheds his TE block, is now in the B gap, and meets the pulling guard with his outside shoulder.  Compton (+0.5) takes the pulling guard with inside shoulder and forces the RB inside–to the B gap.  Smith doesn’t see the cutback because he took on the guard with his head down–must’ve thought he was spilling–and misses an opportunity to tackle.  I could neg him for that but this whole play is a clusterfluck and he did just destroy his primary blocker.  DHall (+1) wraps around from his contain position and makes the tackle.  Goldson (-1), IMO, didn’t see DHall make the tackle and thinks the RB tripped and fell without contact and gets flagged for a late hit.
R39 1 10 1 1 Pistol 3×1 Bunch Nickel Over Pass(4) PA OZ Drag 11
ILBs shift to the field where the TE is and Goldson comes down to replace the backside run support.  Foster (-0.5), Compton (-0.5) and Goldson (-1) flow hard to the run action.  Alshon sneaks in behind them on a drag.  (coverage -1) Kerrigan loses contain but it really looks like he got held.  The refs pick up the flag.
R28 1 10 1 1 Shotgun 3×1 Bunch tight Nickel Over Run Sweep 0
Preston Smith (+1.5) looks like he’s in a 7 or tight 9, can’t tell.  They run it to his side, the TE side, and the Tight end tries to reach him and Smith flattens him with just his inside arm then throws him down and tackles the RB for a TFL.  Foster (+1) also stayed with the play wide and stayed in his correct gap.  Dunbar set the edge vs the pulling OL.  Kearse (-2) got reached and sealed by the guard, he left a huge cut back opportunity for the RB that Moose called out on the replay.  Luckily the RB didn’t see it.  Compton kept his feet from a cut block.  Knighton (+0.5) discarded a reach block after he got sealed…he’s good at that…and gave slow backside pursuit–Kerrigan outran him.
R28 2 10 1 1 Shotgun 3×1 Bunch tight Nickel Over Pass(4) Trail 11
Foster looks to leave his hook zone with the TE Drag and that opens up a void for the RB.  Not sure if Dunbar is tasked with covering that void since there was no other threat to the flat.  (coverage -1)
R17 1 10 1 1 Shotgun 3×1 Bunch Nickel over Run Split zone 8
Foster (-1) is responsible for the 3 gap and sees the guard blocking down and thinks flow is away, but it’s inside zone, and takes a false step inside, never gets up field and ends up catching a block 4 yards off the line.  Smith (-0.5) is late and slow stepping down the line after his man blocks down.  It’s a little understandable since Cutler did run one on us earlier but damn, it’s Jay Cutler not Tyrelle Pryor you can be more aggresive.  Golston (-1) gets doubled and blown back then sealed out the play.  Kearse (-0.5) gets sealed out.  Compton (+0.5) sees his guard fan out and his gap open and attacks it close to the LOS–about a yard off.
R9 2 2 1 1 Shotgun 3×1 Bunch Nickel over Pass(4) RB option Inc
Foster (-0.5) (coverage -1) has no inside leverage on the back but luckily the back takes the out cut forcing a tougher angle for cutler to throw too.
R9 3 2 1 1 Shotgun 3×1 Bunch Nickel split Pass(6) Slant 9
Goldson (-1) lines up way too far over.  Dhall (-1) (coverage -3) left his press tech.  Not sure why this close to the endzone vs a TE with both ILBs blitzing.
Touchdown.  3:42 remains 3rd qtr.  21-14
Drive 7 (2:42)
Ln Dn Ds RB TE Off Formation Def Formation R/P(Rush) Play Call Yards
R21 1 10 1 1 Shotgun 2×2 Nickel Split Run Split zone 4
Bears motion the TE and our line shift to an even/split front.  This covers the guards but frees up the center to attack the 2nd level.  This seems to be a blocking adjustment from the last split zone they tried, since now it is going to be harder to double Knighton (last time it was Golston) also Foster moves up to 3 yards depth.  We are expecting run.  Foster (-1.5) gets blocked into the backside B gap.  Baker (-1) gets one on one blocking and gets taken down the line and out of his gap.  Knighton (+1) makes a move past his man and forces a cut back.  Smith (+0.5) meets the H back at the LOS.  RB cuts outside of him and Foster should be there to tackle him but he’s way out the picture by now.  Compton (+1) makes a valiant effort to cover for Foster but falls short.  Dunbar (+0.5) and DHall (+0.5) who was following the TE are there to make the play.
R17 2 6 1 1 Shotgun 3×1 Bunch tight Nickel over Run Inside Zone 10
Wow wtf.  Alignment looks all kinds of off.  We are playing Compton at a 50 tech and he’s facing the inside reciever in the bunch.  He’s looking for bubble.  But nobody replaces Compton, the way the safeties are not shifted over towards the bunch like normal, makes me think one of them were supposed to replace Compton.  Someone didn’t get the call.  So now we are playing with 5 in the box.  Compton (-1) because he can at least look at the backfield as he screams to the bubble.  I don’t know who to really minus here for the bust.
R7 1 G 1 1 Shotgun 2×2 4-3 under Run Inside Zone 7
Dhall (-2) is acting as the SAM LB in what is basically a 4-3 under.  Dhall has no idea how to play at the depth he is vs the run.  He could close in a little more tighter on the TE, with his speed he doesn’t have to respect Cutler that much.   Plus a horrible tackle attempt.  Line slants right to take away any A gap runs and forces the cutback.  Foster is scraping to the A gap and can’t cut back with a tackle in his face.
Touchdown.  1:24 remains 3rd qtr.  21-21.
Drive 8 (14:07)
Ln Dn Ds RB TE Off Formation Def Formation R/P(Rush) Play Call Yards
B20 1 10 1 1 Shotgun 3×1 Bunch tight Nickel over Run Power O 0
Golston (+0.5) gets penetration, Baker (+0.5) holds his gap and angles himself in a manner that makes Long lose his balance.  Kerrigan (+0.5) once again owns Miller.  He defends his C gap and is able to extend his arms.  Foster (+1) reads the down block and guard pull quickly and is able to scrape over and get inside the pulling guard.  He’s got a knack for defending Power O runs.  This slows down Forte’s cut up field as he was trying to sneak inside his pulling G.  Bashaud (+0.5) and Compton clean up.  Compton was kept clean thanks to Long falling over.  Not sure how that happened.
B20 2 10 1 1 Shotgun Empty 3×2 Nickel over Pass(5) Back Shoulder Inc
Goldson is blitzing from the right and line slants left.  Compton and Foster are in space covering the TE and RB (coverage +1)  Cutler looks that way and doesn’t have anything he likes.  Back shoulder to Alshon is off target.
B20 3 10 1 0 Shotgun 3×1 Dime Split Pass(4) Dump off 8
(coverage +1) (pressure +1)
Punt.  12:50 remains 4th qtr.  24-21.
Drive 9 (9:17)
Ln Dn Ds RB TE Off Formation Def Formation R/P(Rush) Play Call Yards
B6 1 10 1 1 Shotgun 3×1 tight Nickel Over Run Inside Zone -1
Scrape exchange between Kerrigan (+1) and foster gets the RB in the backfield.  Maybe Long was expecting split zone or the TE to kick out to his side.
B5 2 11 1 1 Shotgun 3×1 H Nickel split Run Split zone 4
TE shifts and Knighton moves over but Jean-Francois does not shift to nose and we are in an even/split look.  Same as last time.  TE splits when he probably should have stayed and blocked Kerrigan (+0.5).  Kerrigan is free to roam and works inside to tackle the RB.  Foster (+0.5) gets around his block to help.  Both inside backers are kinda hesitant on this one.
B9 3 7 1 1 Shotgun 3×1 Bunch Dime over Pass(5) Hitch 26
Pressure is enough to make Cutler step up but hes has more than 3 seconds to throw.  Dunbar (-2) (coverage -1) gets lost in his zone coverage.  Dhall (-1) misses his tackle.   Followed by Dunbar.
B35 1 10 1 1 ?? ?? Pass(4) PA Drag 24
Murphy (-1) (pressure -1) loses contain.  Both LBs bite hard (coverage -1).  Hard to tell who was assigned coverage where as the camera cut late to this play.
R41 1 10 1 1 Shotgun 2×2 Nickel Over Pass(5) PA OZ Out Inc
We slant the line left and blitz behind it to clog up all run lanes.  It’s PA outside zone toward the TE.  Jarret (+0.5) (pressure +1) redirects and Cutler throws it short.  (coverage +1)
R41 2 10 1 1 Shotgun 3×1 Nickel over Pass(5) RB seam Inc
Kerrigan (+1) (pressure +1) just flattens the TE trying to block him.  Blitz from Jarrett is coming from his side.  Jarrett (-0.5) is confused on how to approach it.  Cutler feels pressure and throws it quickly and high.
R41 3 10 1 1 Shotgun empty 3×2 Dime split Pass(4) Jailbreak Screen 1
John Keim has a great article up on the Redskins ESPN blog detailing how we knew that when Cutler yells “Prison!” that it was time to look out for a WR screen.  Compton (+1) and Baker (+1) sniff it out.
Punt.  6:18 remains 4th qtr.  24-21.
Drive 10 (2:11)
Ln Dn Ds RB TE Off Formation Def Formation R/P(Rush) Play Call Yards
B20 1 10 1 1 Shotgun 3×1 Dime Split Pass Pen -5
False Start
B15 1 15 1 1 Shotgun 2×2 Dime Split Pass(4) Wheel 50
(coverage -2)  Looks like Blackmon has the out(if blue coverage)/flat which in this defense has usually meant you carry it if it becomes a wheel route.  Perhaps in blue coverage that rule does not apply.  Could also be Dhall’s fault but he was a single high so that’s a tough assignement for him.
R35 1 10 1 1 Shotgun 2×2 Dime split Run Inside zone 3
Worth noting that we pulled DHall for Jarrett.  Jarrett playing at LB depth.  He takes on a block with the wrong shoulder but he might be making Kearse right by scraping over top of him as Kearse fights inside.  Either way Kearse (-1) gets pushed back off the line way too far.  Compton (+1) makes a great tackle after dodging around his blocker.
R32 2 7 1 1 Shotgun 3×1 Nickel over Pass(4) Go inc
(pressure -1)  Breeland (+1) (coverage +1) gets beat but does make a play on the ball vs a power forward.  Lucky that the ball had air underneath it.
R32 3 7 1 1 Shotgun Empty 4×1 Dime Split Pass(6) Back Shoulder inc
Cover 0 blitz doesn’t get home (pressure -2).  Crossing route was open but Cutler misses it and goes for I think a back shoulder.  That’s a tough assignment for the secondary (coverage +1)
Missed FG.  1:40 remains 4th qtr.  24-21.

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