Scouting the Bears
4:05 PM CDT, November 3, 2012
The Bears have taken an aggressive approach to their defensive game plan this season in showing pressure in third-and-7-plus situations. Sunday in Nashville, the Bears can use pre-snap disguises to create confusion in the Titans' protection schemes and bring zone pressure.
As shown here, the Bears have their nickel sub package on the field (four defensive linemen, two linebackers, five defensive backs) versus the Titans' Posse personnel (three wide receivers, one tight end, one running back) in a doubles alignment. The Bears will blitz to the open (weak) side of the formation and drop defenders into the passing lanes.
Force hot read
The Bears are showing man-pressure at the line of scrimmage. With Chris Conte (FS) and Lance Briggs (W) walking up to the line of scrimmage, plus cornerbacks Charles Tillman (RC) and Tim Jennings (LC) playing from an off-man position, this reads as Cover-1 (man-free) or Cover-0 (blitz-man) pressure. The Bears are looking for quarterback Matt Hasselbeck to check into a three-step route combination.
This is only a five-man rush from the Bears. Julius Peppers (RE) will use a long scoop to occupy the left tackle with Henry Melton (NT) and Israel Idonije (DT) working to opposite gaps in their rush techniques. Once Peppers clears and forces the left tackle to step down, the Bears can create a two-on-one against running back Chris Johnson (R) with Brian Urlacher (M) and Conte blitzing to the open side of the formation. This will build some confusion along the line of scrimmage and work to get a free runner at the quarterback.
With only five players in the blitz front, the Bears are dropping six into coverage to form a three-deep, three-under zone. Both Tillman and Jennings will match to No. 1 (X, Z) as fire zone 1/3rd defenders with Wright playing the deep middle of the field. Underneath, the Bears have two seam-flat defenders in nickel back D.J. Moore (N) and defensive end Shea McClellin (LE). Moore will play No. 2 (H) to the open side of the formation with McClellin dropping underneath No. 2 (Y) to the closed side. That leaves Lance Briggs (W) to drop as a middle-hook defender and play No. 3 (H).
Titans' route concept
The Titans are running a 2212 concept versus a pressure front. To the open side of the formation, they have double slants for receivers Kenny Britt (X) and Kendall Wright (H). Over to the closed side, they have the base slant-flat combination with Nate Washington (Z) on the quick, inside slant and tight end Jared Cook (Y) working to the flat. They need a quick three-step read that will get the ball out of Hasselbeck's hands versus the blitz.
Setting the trap
If the Bears don't get home with the open-side pressure, they want the Titans to throw inside breaking routes. Both Tillman and Jennings will flat-foot read (no backpedal) the release of the No. 1 receivers and drive to the upfield shoulder on the throw. With Moore squeezing the slot receiver on the inside slant, and McClellin dropping underneath the tight end to the flat, Briggs can read the eyes of Hasselbeck and step directly into the throwing lane to make a play on the ball.
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