What a beautiful game plan by the Chicago Bears in their Monday Nighter against the Eagles. Offensively Mike Martz called a great game, and the players executed the game plan to a T. Some roll outs were implemented, the run game was used, there was plenty of max protects and chipping being used in the passing game. It’s safe to say the Martzfense is evolving. Hopefully the Mad One doesn’t revert back to his ‘Greatest Show On Turf’ days. But it was the game plan devised by Lovie Smith, Rod Marinelli and the defensive coaches that had me most impressed.
During the Bears bye week the Eagles hosted the Cowboys and Philly put a 34-7 ass whipping on them. They put up nearly 500 yards in offense behind Michael Vick and a career day by LeSean McCoy. Defensively the Cowboys played a lot of Cover 2 against Michael Vick and that Eagle O, and it obviously didn’t work. Everyone thought the Dream Team was finally living up their billing, and I don’t think 1 football analyst gave the Bears a shot at winning in Philadelphia. The Bears had to throw something at the Eagles that they weren’t expecting and scaling back some of their usual Cover 2 did the trick.
The Bears decided that they were gonna push around the Eagle wide outs and play more man to man and press coverage. Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson are explosive receivers, but they had 6 receptions for 79 yards between them while getting roughed up by Chicago corners Tim Jennings and Charles Tillman. There was a lot of single high safety, or Cover 1, being played and they rolled into some Cover 3 looks from their base D.
Even when the Bears did play Cover 2, the reroutes they put on the Philly receivers was physical. The D was assaulting the Eagles all day and that physicality led to a few drops. The offensive game plan against the Lions for week 10 should resemble what they did in Philly, but defensively, having to slow down Calvin Johnson will present a new challenge for Lovie Smith and his D. I think they’ll be ready, and I think it’s safe to say that the Bears defense is starting to get some swagger back.