Power-O the way to go

Deep in red zone, Forte can be force when passing space tightens up

The Bears can lean on the base running game inside of the red zone and attack the Panthers when they show a seven-man front Sunday at Soldier Field as a two-back power scheme will create a running lane for Matt Forte.

As shown here, the Bears have their Ace personnel (two wide receivers, two tight ends, one back) on the field with tight end Kyle Adams shifting to the backfield to create a Pro Strong-I alignment. The Panthers counter with their base 4-3 personnel in an Over front playing Cover-2 in the secondary. The Bears are looking to run the Power-O scheme and work the ball to the second level of the defense.

Running in red zone

Inside the 10-yard line it becomes tougher to find throwing windows as defensive backs shorten their depth and sit on routes. With the Panthers in a Cover-2 shell, both safeties (SS and FS) can buzz their feet and flat-foot read (no backpedal) versus route concepts. This is why the Bears need rushing production to get the ball in the end zone consistently when the field shrinks in the red zone.

Power-O

This is a two-back scheme run to the closed (strong) side of the formation. The F, Adams, will kick out the Sam Backer (S) with open-side guard Chilo Rachal pulling to the closed side of the formation and leading up through the hole. Rachal will look to block the first defender who shows in the hole (M).

Double team

To see production in the Power-O scheme, the Bears have to win on the double team inside. Right guard Lance Louis and right tackle Gabe Carimi will block down on the defensive tackle with Carimi looking to chip up to the Will linebacker (W) scraping to the play side. However, if the Bears allow the defensive tackle to split the double team, the up the field penetration will knock off Rachal and disrupt the flow of the play.

Downhill run

The idea is to get to the hole. Unlike the inside zone scheme where Forte can use his vision and patience to find cutback lanes, the Power-O is a straight downhill concept. Quarterback Jay Cutler will open away from the play side, pivot and get the ball to Forte deep in the backfield. With tight end Kellen Davis (Y) turning out on the defensive end (LE) and both Adams and Rachal leading through the hole, Forte can square his pads, hit the C gap and get vertical.

Secondary run support

If the Bears can fit up on linebackers Luke Kuechly (M) and James Anderson (S), the Panthers will have to rely on their two safeties to make an open-field tackle and keep Forte out of the end zone. Both Charles Godfrey (SS) and Haruki Nakamura (FS) will read the receivers (X, Z) at the snap for their run/pass keys and fill as secondary support players. However, if they are late to read run — or give ground on their initial alignment — Forte can lower his pad level on contact and put six points on the board.

Twitter @MattBowen41

Special contributor Matt Bowen, who played at Glenbard West and Iowa, spent seven seasons in the NFL as a strong safety. You also can find his work at nationalfootballpost.com.

Featured Stories

Advertisement

PLAN AHEAD

Top Trending Videos