Chicago Bears Playbook - Blitz to Win

Justin K. Aller

The Chicago Bears defense seems to be getting worse with each passing week, but they scrounged up just enough big plays to put the stop to Dallas on Monday night. Here's why the Bears should be ready to dial up the pressure again this Sunday.

It's no secret that the Bears are having troubles on defense, but they managed to hold the high-powered Dallas offense to 28 points, seven of which came from unstoppable, whisky-powered Kyle Orton.

As I said before, this Bears defense is going to be at its best if they play a higher-risk defense than what Bears fans were trained to expect under the Lovie Smith regime.  Now that the team has a high-powered offense, Chicago doesn't need to hold a team to ten total points, they just need to get enough stops to make sure the offense can do what it does best and score points.

After getting bruised with two touchdowns by Dallas, the Bears defense managed to get in two punches of its own.  The first came in the form of an all-out blitz on third down that saw James Anderson taking down Romo for a loss of nine.  On the drive after that, however, Mel Tucker had something a little more creative in mind.

For all those clamoring for the Bears to switch to a 3-4, for at least this one play, you got something close to your wish.  Before the GIF starts, MLB Jon Bostic pulls a last-second audible, moving himself and James Anderson into the A-gaps and sending Shea McClellin to line up outside of TE Jason Witten.  Romo apparently thought that they were going to send the house again, because he looks straight to Witten after his dropback.  One problem for Romo, however: Shea McClellin had completely blanketed the Pro Bowl TE and taken away his dump-off option.

Sheazoneblitz_medium

With former teammate Jeremiah Ratliff bearing down on him, Romo is forced to throw a barely-catchable ball to his second option, WR Terrance Williams.  Zack Bowman made sure that Williams couldn't reel the ball in for the first down, and Dallas would go on to punt.  One crazy touchdown toss to Alshon Jeffery later, and the Bears would walk into the locker room with a 24-14 lead at the half, a ten point lead courtesy of only two defensive plays.

This Bears defense doesn't need to be world-beaters like the defenses of old.  Assuming the offense can continue to put up big points - a big assumption given the stinker they put up against Minnesota two weeks ago - all this D needs to do is generate a few stops a half to get the ball back into the hands of their hopefully deadly offense.

This defense isn't going to stop anyone playing a vanilla Cover 2.  It's got to make big plays when it can actually get an opposing team in a third down situation, and whether that big play comes in the form of a blitz, thrown-away ball, or a takeaway (remember those?), it doesn't quite matter. Mel Tucker should continue to channel his inner gambler and take bigger risks when the Bears have the opportunity to dial something up, as this defense simply can't get the job done otherwise.

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