CHALK TALK: Bears will go all-out again to stop Vikings’ Jared Allen
BY ADAM L. JAHNS firstname.lastname@example.org December 8, 2012 1:12AM
Updated: January 10, 2013 6:25AM
In an effort to contain defensive end Jared Allen, the Bears threw the kitchen sink at him when they played the Minnesota Vikings two weeks ago.
They double-teamed him with a tight end, chipped him with running backs and receivers, used quick, three-step drops by quarterback Jay Cutler and rolled him out with play-action.
‘‘We’re going to do similar stuff that we did,’’ Cutler said of the Bears’ rematch with Allen and the Vikings on Sunday. ‘‘We threw different things at him, different blocking schemes at him. We threw a fullback at him, threw a tight end at him. [I] got rid of the ball quickly and efficiently. We’ve just got to do those things and do more of it.’’
Allen might have a target on his back for ending the season of Bears right guard Lance Louis (torn anterior cruciate ligament) with a hit during an interception return. But the Bears’ main priority should be keeping him off Cutler.
‘‘They did some things [with] boot-legging and max-protecting from different looks, chipping in and out with the tight ends and the running backs,” Allen said. “That makes it tough.”
Allen simply didn’t know what to expect.
The diagrammed play – Cutler’s 13-yard touchdown pass to tight end Matt Spaeth in the second quarter of the Bears’ 28-10 win — shows one way the Bears neutralized Allen. The Bears have their ace personnel (one back) with two tight ends and two receivers in essentially a double stack formation. They used play-action, counting on Allen’s aggressiveness to take him up field, and rolled Cutler out to the left, where he was able to throw a strike to Spaeth.
Tight end Kellen Davis is in charge of blocking Allen, who bolts toward Cutler when left tackle J’Marcus Webb and the rest of the offensive line move right to sell the run to running back Matt Forte.
Wide receiver Eric Weems sprints under the line of scrimmage and out to the flat, while Spaeth heads to the corner of the end zone, giving Cutler two options to go with the motion of his bootleg. Davis hinders Allen just enough to allow Cutler to roll out.
The Vikings are in their standard cover-2 defense with two safeties over the top. Spaeth is able to gain a step on Vikings safety Jamarca Sanford because of the play fake. Weems’ route eliminates any underneath help for Sanford.
The whole play, though, is contingent on Davis getting a piece of Allen.
‘‘It’s very important,’’ offensive coordinator Mike Tice said. “[We] have to account for Jared Allen every time we throw the ball, and we will.’’