The Chicago Bears only had 15 different players take a snap on the defensive side of the ball. With such a long drawn out game, I thought the Bears would rotate in a few more bodies. Perhaps with the near two hour delay, and the wet and chilly conditions, the Bears wanted to keep their players as warm as possible.
Here's how the snaps broke down for their defense.
Zack Bowman, Chris Conte, Major Wright, James Anderson, and Jon Bostic were the only five that didn't leave the field for all 78 defensive plays. Of those players, only Wright was kept off the special teams.
Bowman had nine tackles yesterday, but it was the five yellow flags throw his way that really stood out. The Ravens declined one of his penalties, but here's the rundown on all five. One Horse Collar Tackle, one Illegal Block Above the Waist, one Illegal Use of Hands, and two Defensive Pass Interference's, for a grand total of 42 yards in penalties, and one first down.
Rookie Jon Bostic picked up his 1st career interception by running the deep middle third in the Bears' Tampa 2 scheme. It was as textbook as it gets. He may not have 6'4" size like his predecessor, but he has the speed to cover in the NFL. He also had five tackles, including one tackle for a loss (TFL). Fellow linebacker Anderson was active as well, notching eight total tackles and one TFL.
The run defense had one major hiccup, the 47 yard scamper by Ray Rice. But besides that run, the Bears did a pretty solid job with gap integrity. That 47 yarder was a biggie no doubt, but take that away and the Ravens called 36 rushing plays and they gained 107 yards, for 2.9 yards per rush.
The Bears will get Lance Briggs and Jeremiah Ratliff back soon, and that should help the run D even more.
Cornerback Tim Jennings took only one play off after being kneed in the nether region. I find it interesting that it was nickleback Isaiah Frey that took the rep at corner for Jennings. Frey had 61 plays total (78%), and weakside linebacker Khaseem Greene played 18.
Nose tackle Stephen Paea injured the same toe that he hurt earlier this season, and he only played 19 snaps. Landon Cohen received the other DT start, and he played 59 snaps, picking up a tackle and two assists during his time. Corey Wootton who was back starting at defensive end, played 71 snaps, including some inside at 3 technique DT. Christian Tupuo was rotated in for 18 plays at DT.
The star of the defense with 11 tackles, 2 sacks, 4 TFL, and 2 QB hits, was Julius Peppers who logged 71 snaps. This was the first real Peppers-like day of the season, and he's had two good games in the last three. Maybe we're going to see this Julius Peppers from here on out.
The two backup DEs both made an impact. David Bass had the pick-6, a TFL, a pass defended, and four tackles while playing 72% of the snaps (56/78), and recently promoted Cheta Ozougwu had a sack and a forced fumble in his 18 plays. Cheta also picked up some special teams slack by playing 13 snaps in the 3rd phase.
Blake Costanzo had the most special teams plays, with 25, followed by Dante Rosario's 23. The newest Bear, Derrick Martin, was able to immediately work into 14 plays on special teams.
On offense, the five linemen, quarterback Josh McCown, and wide receiver Brandon Marshall played all 62 snaps. Marshall was again second in targets, one behind the 11 for Alshon Jeffery, who only missed one play. Tight End Martellus Bennett, who was questionable to play, ended up sloshing through 59 snaps (95%). Rosario had 11 offensive snaps at TE, and Eben Britton had 16, but still didn't get a pass throw his way.
Back to McCown, if you follow me on Twitter, you would already know this little statistical nugget. Josh McCown, who didn't throw a pass in the 3rd quarter, was 9 of 11 for 132 yards and a TD in the 4th quarter and overtime.
Michael Bush gave Matt Forte a small rest, playing 6 snaps to Forte's 56. Bush had 3 carries for 5 yards, while Forte had 23 touches for 125 yards, and a receiving TD. I just don't think Marc Trestman is a big believer in taking the multi-talented Matt Forte off the field, and that's probably OK, as Forte is the better player. I just hope he has plenty of gas in the tank for the playoff push.
Fullback Tony Fiammetta saw action on nine offensive plays, 3rd wide out Earl Bennett had 27, and rookie WR Marquess Wilson had three snaps.
Next week the Bears travel to St. Louis to play in the controlled environment of the Edward Jones Dome.
What were your thoughts on the snap distribution this week?