15 on 6: Moving past the New England massacre

338814.jpg

15 on 6: Moving past the New England massacre

Sunday, Dec. 12, 2010
10:05 PM

By Jim Miller
CSNChicago.com

Sunday's score would lead you to believe the Patriots are head and shoulders above the Chicago Bears.

The reality is, in key situations the Patriots are better, but in talent, they are not. The Bears missed out on an opportunity to show the league how good a team they really are.

Where it went wrong

I mentioned in the pregame blog the Bears needed to run the ball utilizing three tight end or "heavy sets," and they came out on their opening drive with that exact personnel grouping and were moving the ball on the ground. The key situation where they failed was on 3rd-and-1 to keep the drive alive.

Again, they needed to weather the storm (literally) by the Patriots offense to keep pace until Tom Brady made a mistake. Instead, Greg Olsen misses his critical kickout block on New England cornerback Devin McCourty. If the 265-pound TE hammers the 190-pound CB, the Bears are looking at a house call to the end zone for Matt Forte.

The Bears were out of this personnel grouping as soon as Johnny Knox's fumble was returned for a touchdown, and in a heartbeat, trailed 21-0.

Chicago did force three Brady mistakes, but did not make the play to capitalize. Defensively, The Bears mixed up their coverages between single safety man coverage with blitz, single safety cover-3, and their staple Tampa-2.

That is realistically about all you can do against QB's the caliber of Brady or Peyton Manning. Unfortunately, the Bears defense was unable to squeeze what could have been three key interceptions.

Frustrated

Jay Cutler seemed to get frustrated after the Knox drop on 3rd-and-18. Martz dialed up a dash play to move the pocket, Jay rolled right and delivered a perfect throw to Knox who has to make the play. Jay already knew the game was lost after that play.

It was the last drive where they realistically had a chance to get back in the game and it was only the middle of the second quarter. Jay must regroup this offense to get them focused on the task at hand in Minnesota - or wherever that game will be played if the Metrodome isn't fixed in time.

They have a chance to lock up the division with a win over the Vikings and a Green Bay loss in New England. He must take care of business under the lights next Monday night.

Jim Miller, an 11-year former NFL quarterback, is a Comcast SportsNet Bears analyst who can be seen each week on U.S. Cellular Bears Postgame Live. Miller, who spent five seasons with the Bears, analyzes current Chicago QB Jay Cutler in his "15 on 6" blog on CSNChicago.com and can be followed on Twitter @15miller.

Bears select Alabama safety Eddie Jackson in the fourth round

Bears select Alabama safety Eddie Jackson in the fourth round

After going with offense with their first two draft selections, the Bears addressed their defense on Saturday.

The Bears traded pick No. 117 and No. 197 to the Los Angeles Rams for No. 112 and used the selection to grab Alabama safety Eddie Jackson.

Jackson, an All-American in 2015, had 24 tackles and an interception before missing the remainder of his senior season after breaking his leg against Texas A&M in October.

Jackson finished his career at Alabama with nine interceptions.

Bears draft North Carolina A and T RB Tarik Cohen with 119th pick

Bears draft North Carolina A and T RB Tarik Cohen with 119th pick

After trading up to land Alabama safety Eddie Jackson, the Bears went back the offensive side of the ball and drafted North Carolina A&T running back Tarik Cohen. 

The 5-foot-6, 179 pound Cohen dominated FCS competition in the MEAC last year, rushing for 1,588 yards and 19 touchdowns and catching 37 passes for 339 yards and one receiving score. 

Cohen ran a 4.42 40-yard dash at the combine in Indianapolis last month and earned the nickname "The Human Joystick" in college. NFL.com's Lance Zierlein compared Cohen to Darren Sproles, another undersized playmaking running back who carved out a career in the NFL.