Watch For the Screen Deep Out of the Bears' Own End
The first two weeks of the 2010 season, Mike Martz has perfectly timed a pair of screen passes with his offense buried deep on its own end of the field. In Week One against the Lions, Matt Forte took a simple slip screen and went nearly the length of the field for a touchdown. Only better play by the Cowboys' linebackers and cornerbacks avoided a near-repeat last week down in Dallas.
Martz has been doing this since he was calling the plays for the Super Bowl Champion St. Louis Rams back in 1999. He uses the aggressiveness that is inherently generated by the defense feeling it has the offense pinned down and turns it on its head. Capers would do well to remind his front 7, especially his defensive line, that they'll most likely see this tactic at least once, most likely later in the game.
- Rattle Cutler Early
This is such a no-brainer I feel silly even putting it down, but its the quickest way to beat any team quarterbacked by Jay Cutler.
Cutler is the ultimate front runner. He has all the talent in the world and that talent comes to the fore when his team is winning. But rattle him early and he can be taken completely out of his game. And I don't mean sacks and quarterback hits, though of course those help. Last week the Cowboys put a beating on Cutler something fierce throughout the first half and he kept bouncing back. Adjustments were made at halftime and he came out and played even better in the second half.
No, what I mean is planting a seed of doubt early by taking the ball away. Whether its by an interception (obviously preferred) or even a fumble recovery, get him thinking.
And then talk to him about it.
Clay Matthews knows exactly what I mean:
Cutler has all the ability in the world - but get to him and get his team down early and he has a very difficult time righting the ship.
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