The Chicago Bears ran 55 offensive plays to 76 for the Washington Redskins, and by the second half you could see the wear and tear in the Bears defense. They were already playing thin at a few positions, and they suffered even more injuries on the defensive side of the ball.
The Bears offense wasn't unscathed, as they had a few players miss time for injury, none more significant than quarterback Jay Cutler. Results of his MRI will be revealed later today.
But back to the D.
The NFL is a little late in getting the playtime percentages out, so I'll tap into the fellas at Pro Football Focus for the data this week
Linebacker James Anderson, safety Chris Conte, and corner Tim Jennings were the only three Bears to play all 76 snaps on D. Anderson shifted over to the weak-side linebacker when Lance Briggs went out with his injured shoulder. Briggs saw 49 snaps. Rookie linebackers Jon Bostic had 66 snaps and Khaseem Greene had one and a ticky-tack penalty. Blake Costanzo had 18 defensive snaps at LB.
Nickleback Isaiah Frey was in for 19 snaps, so that meant that Bostic was staying on the field in some nickle situations. That kind of in game experience will benefit Bostic down the road.
Corner Charles Tillman, who exited because of a knee injury, played in 57 snaps. The returning Stephen Paea logged 60 snaps at defensive tackle. His 79% of the snaps is too many for the d-line rotation in my opinion. Corey Wootton actually led the Bears defensive linemen with 61 snaps. He again started the game at 3 Tech DT. Wootton had a tackle for loss (TFL) and four QB hurries.
Julius Peppers and Shea McClellin started the game at the ends, and played 59 and 56 snaps respectively. The 74% for McClellin is too high, but if David Bass (30 snaps) continues to show up at DE, McClellin could see a dip in playing time. McClellin did have a a couple QB hits and a QB hurry, but also two missed tackles according to PFF. Peppers was more active and he picked up seven tackles, a TFL, and a QB hurry.
Rookie DT Zach Minter was in on 13 plays, and he missed a tackle. Fellow DT Landon Cohen had two tackles in his 25 snaps. Safety Craig Steltz filled in on three snaps for Major Wright.
The defensive is obviously struggling so far in 2013, but to overlook the injury factor would be silly. Kelvin Hayden, Henry Melton, Nate Collins, and D.J. Williams are all on injured reserve. Paea has missed time, and Tillman hasn't been 100% all season. Hopefully the Bears can heal up with the bye week, and pick up their play a bit for a second half run.
A second half run that may be without their QB. Jay Cutler went down on his 14th snap of the day leaving Josh McCown to play 41.
Backup tight end Dante Rosario started the game, as the Bears began in a double TE set, and he played 11 total plays. Starting TE Martellus Bennett, himself battling some injuries, played 48. Offensive lineman turned blocking TE Eben Britton played 11 as well.
Fullback Tony Fiammetta only played 10 snaps, and PFF had this nice little nugget about Chicago's personnel groupings.
Even with Jay Cutler going down the Bears still leaned on their three receiver sets. By the end of the game they'd use 11 personnel on 30-of-55 offensive snaps, compared to 10 snaps in 21 personnel and 11 in 12 personnel.
If you don't know, 11 personnel means 1 RB and 1 TE, leaving 3 wide receivers. First number is how many backs on the field, second number is how many tight ends on the field. So 21 is 2 backs, 1 TE, and 12 is one RB with a double TE.
Wide out Brandon Marshall only missed one play, and Alshon Jeffery played 49/55. Earl Bennett played 30, while rookie Marquess Wilson logged six snaps and he made the first reception of his career.
Besides the five offensive linemen, Matt Forte also played all 55 snaps. Michael Bush dressed yet didn't see the field at all. I wonder if Bush will be a potential trade chip, seeing as the coaches infrequently use him. He could bring a low draft pick from a RB needy team, or better yet he could be flipped for some defensive line help. One thing to keep in mind, the Bears don't have a lot of cap space left, so don't expect a world beater if they do swing a trade.
What are your thoughts on the playing time distribution for the Bears this week?
More from Windy City Gridiron:
- The Bears Den: October 21, 2013 - Week 7 news and notes
- Bears Vs Redskins: Notes, Scribbles and Things Jotted Down
- Chicago Bears expected to re-sign quarterback Jordan Palmer
- Final Score: Chicago Bears lose 45-41 to the Washington Redskins
- Jay Cutler injury update: Chicago Bears QB knocked out of game vs Redskins