Another Monday Night Football game, another blowout. In this week’s All-22 film review, I breakdown some of the key plays from Monday night’s game and show how the Chicago Bears were able to come away with a 45-28 victory over the Dallas Cowboys this week. (Note: I’m not sure if it’s due to the layout of the Chicago Bears’ stadium, but the All-22 angle in this post is going to look a little different than usual as it’s not as high up as I’ve seen from other games)
The opening drive of the game for the Cowboys was the DeMarco Murray show as he accounted for 58 of the Cowboys’ 75 yards on their opening touchdown drive, including this 19 yard run to start the game:
Dallas center Travis Frederick and right guard Mackenzy Bernadeau do a great job of opening up the initial hole for Murray to run through. Then, left guard Ronald Leary gets downfield, clearing Bears’ linebacker Khaseem Greene out of the hole, allowing Murray burst past the second level of the Chicago Bears defense.
Unfortunately, it was one of the few bright spots for the Cowboys in this game.
On the ensuing drive for the Chicago Bears, quarterback Josh McCown was able to pick apart the Cowboys’ defense with multiple completions on curl routes, including this key 15 yard completion to Alshon Jeffery on 3rd and 10. This play allowed the Bears to extend their drive which eventually lead to a touchdown. Dallas cornerback Orlando Scandrick has good coverage on this play, but Jeffery does a great job of coming back for this ball to secure the catch.
They say football is a game of inches, and this play exemplified that. Look how close defensive end George Selvie comes to bringing down McCown on this play. Matt Forte does a good job of re-directing Selvie’s route to the quarterback, and McCown shows some great pocket presence, stepping up in the pocket to deliver this throw.
On Chicago’s second touchdown drive, they were again faced with a 3rd and long. Once again, McCown delivered, this time connecting with Brandon Marshall for a 15 yard gain on 3rd and 14.
A key swing in this game came a few drives later. Dallas had the ball with 1:27 to go in the first half, and 3 incomplete passes later, they were punting to Chicago with about a minute left in the half. The Bears were able to capitalize on this, turning what could have been a 3 point lead into a 10 point lead as they went into the half with a 25 yard touchdown pass to Alshon Jeffery. This touchdown pass was set up by the following play: with 25 seconds left in the half, the Bears found themselves at the 41 yard line, and that’s where McCown connected with Brandon Marshall on a 19 yard post route. This play came about thanks to a rub route between Marshall and Bennett which caused the two Dallas defenders who were in man coverage to run into each other, allowing Marshall to get wide open in the middle of the field.
In the third quarter, once again it was McCown and the Chicago Bears’ passing attack converting another key 3rd and long to extend a drive which eventually lead to a touchdown. This time, it was Earl Bennett getting in on the action, as he ran a short curl route on this 3rd and 9 play, sitting in a hole in Dallas’ zone defense, making the catch, and then quickly getting downfield to pick up the first down. I have the first down marker highlighted in yellow on this one.
After that play, it was all Matt Forte, Michael Bush, and the Chicago Bears’ run game as they ran the ball 7 straight times for 51 yards on their way to taking a 35-14 lead, including this 12 yard run up the gut by Matt Forte.
Dallas’ ensuing drive ended as they failed to convert on a 4th and 10 to end the 3rd quarter. On this play, Chicago linebacker James Anderson was left unblocked and had a free lane to Tony Romo up the middle, forcing Romo to throw it away. There was some miscommunication on this play, as neither center Travis Frederick nor right guard Mackenzy Bernadeau picked up the blitzing Anderson.
The Bears sealed the deal on their next drive, taking a 42-14 lead on a perfectly timed and executed screen pass to Michael Bush for a 17 yard touchdown. Chicago caught Dallas blitzing on this play, which left Bush with a lot of open space in front of him. Solid downfield blocking by Brandon Marshall and right tackle Jordan Mills allowed Bush to run in for an easy touchdown after the catch.
Well that’s it for this week’s Monday Night Football All-22 Review. Tune in next week when I recap the game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Detroit Lions.