When watching Bears’ film this week, I came across a play in Marc Trestman’s offense that I really loved. The Bears used the play twice in the 4th quarter and Matt Forte gained 19 and 24 yards out of the same play and same formation. It’s cleverly designed and the Bears set it up by running an end around to Alshon Jeffery out of a similar look earlier in the game.
Bears have Alshon Jeffrey lined up off the line of scrimmage outside the numbers with Earl Bennett and Brandon Marshall lined up inside of him. Jeffery will go into motion (dotted line) across the formation and the snap will occur when he gets to the outside hip of the left tackle. Jay Cutler will pivot to his left, fake the handoff to Jeffery (again, setup by an end around to Jeffery earlier in the game), and then pitch to a widening Matt Forte. Marshall and Bennett will block the players in front of them with an emphasis on trying to seal the defenders inside and letting Forte get to the edge. The left tackle Jermon Bushrod will pull around the blocking wide receivers and get up field to find a defensive back to block.
On The Snap
The motion and potential handoff to Jeffery sucks up the linebackers into the line of scrimmage and they take a false step to their left. That’s all that’s needed in the NFL to create a void in the defense and a big play.
From the end zone angle we can see what the defense is looking at. Jeffery sells the fake with his hands and the linebackers bite. Bushrod has already started pulling and Marshall will be able to use linebacker Barkevious Mingo’s (51) aggressiveness against him with an easy seal inside.
The Blocking Setup
All of the interior defenders are sealed inside. Bennett gets upfield to get to the safety on that side of the field and Bushrod is charging to the outside cornerback. 2 blockers on 2 defenders is good for the offense. Forte gets behind Bushrod and allows the blocks to be made.
Bushrod crushes his mark. Bennett does a good job to engage and hold his block on the defensive back to allow the massive alley. The Browns only hope at this point is the deep safety that’s coming from the opposite side of the field.
The deception of the fake to Jeffery leaves the linebackers out of position to chase down the line of scrimmage. Another key is that all of the blocks downfield are effective. Forte gets past the blocks and is run out of bounds by the deep safety after a gain of 19, which gets the Bears inside the 10 and sets up the go ahead touchdown.
When the Bears get the ball back later in the 4th quarter with the lead, Trestman calls this exact same play again on 3rd and 10 on the Bears’ own 35 yard line in a crucial situation. The Browns defense gets trapped inside again and it plays out similarly for a 24 yard gain and a huge first down that helps the Bears seal the game. Here is an end zone shot from that play that looks very similar to the alley that Forte had on the toss early. It’s an effective play that Trestman used in key situations. Teams will need to prepare for this in future weeks.