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Bowen: Analyzing the Rail Route vs. the Lions

Any chance we get to break down the Bears' X's and O's with Matt Bowen, we take it. This feature covers the Bears' 28-yard game-winning TD throw to Matt Forte (well, game-winning depending on who you talk to). Follow us below the jump where we break down the "Rail Route."

Cutler to Forte for 28-yard game winning TD (via chitownhawks2010chps)

Detroit plays this one out of a Cover 1, with the Bears in a 3-1-1 (three receivers, one back, one tight end). Bowen points out Forte's opening deployment - one side, ready to run off-tackle and into a route. For all intents and purposes, he's a receiver, and not being shy about it.

The play depends on LB Julian Peterson being able to stay with Forte and cut him off from the route. If he's able to, because the Bears have five routes working, Jay has other options. Hester and Bennett run the crossing underneath routes, Olsen's on the 10-yard dig, and Knox runs the corner to the far side.

But he doesn't need them. Because of the underneath routes on the play, the cornerback steps up until the mike linebacker jumps the underneath routes - the cornerback can't get on top of Forte's route when he has to cover anything that might cut back across the field, and the free safety (cover 1, remember) is stuck out in the deep middle of the field. Forte's got the sideline all to himself.

(Edit: Somehow the link didn't make it's way in. Fixed.)