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The First Great Play by Kentwan Balmer

Stuttering progress but progress.
Stuttering progress but progress.

It's towards the end.

  • Pinned at their five, the Bears did the customary thing: run. The interior line created some push, particularly on Kentwan Balmer, but Balmer disengaged and surged forward to stop the run. Cole is awarded the tackle.
  • Lofa Tatupu cut into the throwing lane and tipped away the pass, in the next play. There were a lot of Bears and Seahawks concentrated fifteen yards down field and by the left flat, but Greg Olsen was open enough to receive. It looked like a throw into cover a game speed, but Cutler has the arm to make that throw.
  • Devin Hester burns Jordan Babineaux alive. Babs isn't just beat, Hester is gaining and gaining past Babineaux. Earl Thomas rolls over to provide deep cover, which is nice to see, but Jay Cutler renders it irrelevant when he overthrows incomplete. He's not under pressure.

Seahawks ball.

  • Bears call an immediate time out, and that nullifies what looked like a wicked pitch left to Leon Washington. One day you will get a carry Leon, and that day, you will be stuffed for a loss.
  • If I remember correctly, many called the next play a drop by Mike Williams. It wasn't. Tim Jennings slapped it away though it was partially within Williams grasp. It was however a bad pass that put Williams into an awkward crouching position and erased the separation he had achieved out of his break.
  • Marshawn Lynch breaks a Tommie Harris tackle in the back field and then briefly drags, in no particular order, Brian Iwuh, Pisa Tinoisamoa, Matt Toeaina and Henry Melton. All that wicked awesomeness, the broken tackle, the Bears drag pull, is made possible by Ben Hamilton. Hamilton is slapped to the turf by Harris forcing a premature and power sapping Beast Mode transformation.
  • The Bears drag pull continues as Williams drags Charles Tillman after receiving a slant and while running for 12 and the first. This is a great play call executed to perfection. The Bears send six and pressure is closing, but Matt stands tall and delivers and Williams pretty much dominates and drags Tillman until help can arrive.
  • Deon Butler punishes off coverage.
  • Michael Robinson blows a block aborting a pitch right. Don't leave your feet, Marshawn.
  • Butler misses the snap, misses his block and the screen begins to unravel and then ends when Hasselbeck badly misses Williams on the right.
  • Then, this.
  • In the crush to celebrate Russell Okung, I think it's forgotten that though Okie helped, Forsett was the one that really pushed the pile. You can see Forsett get under free safety Chris Harris and knock him away from the scrum, and that's just about when the Seahawks seal the touchdown.
  • A few other notes:
    1. John Carlson pulls around from the right and trips Julius Peppers. Good to see some run blocking by White Jesus.
    2. Chris Spencer and Ben Hamilton both control their assignments and force the Bears interior line right.
    3. Stacy Andrews misses his pull block and Tinoisamoa has a shot at a saving tackle. Forsett runs right past him.
    4. Brandon Stokley's block is hardly dominant but it's effective and crucial for the run's success.
    5. Okung pulls out and squares Brian Urlacher in space. Forsett collides with Urlacher and that pop knocks him back and begins the push towards the end zone. And then, it's strongest man wins, and that's Forsett with an assist from Okung.

    Bears respond.

    • In traditional Martz fashion, the ensuring Bears scoring drive is two big plays and a mess of failure.
    • Seahawks rush three, Craig Terrill drops into cover, blows cover on Olsen -- good matchup there -- but Olsen cannot one-hand a bad pass and it falls incomplete. I wonder if Craig requests playing in cover so much. Someone must find pleasure in this insanity.
    • Walter Thurmond is picked out by Lofa Tatupu and that frees Devin Aromashodu on a shallow cross. He receives and burns up the right sideline. Bears fans might find the combination of double shallow crosses with a tight end seam route interesting, but I see this whole play as bonus yards awarded for a bad but incidental screwup.
    • Terrill drops into cover. This factors. Not how a Seahawks fan might like, but before I explain that, check this out and watch Terrill pop Aromashodu. Fun.
    • Ok, we back? Terrill drops into cover but Seattle still rushes three. Will Herring curls around right end and damn near sacks Cutler. It's a pretty good blitz for Will, but it fails because Cutler has this space to step into, a space up the middle and slightly to the right, where a defensive tackle might play.
    • Of all the things I dislike about defensive tackles dropping into cover, the too clever by half nature of the attack, the fact that once the trap is tripped, the tackle might as well take a seat because he's just about useless at that point, it's how often I see a quarterback step into the vacated space provided by the absent pass rusher that really annoys me. It's like, here's this play built on deception that's already kind of questionable, because it's forcing a defensive tackle into coverage, an then it has this added weakness.
    • Terrill does manage to almost tip the pass.
    • Instead it finds Earl Bennett reminding Lawyer Milloy of his age. Earl Bennett is not that fast.
    • Thurmond receives credit for the saving tackle. I like the so-called "saving tackle." If there was any way to actually codify what a saving tackle is, that would make for an interesting stat.
    • Ok, you've waited for it, here comes.
    • Balmer swats Edwin Williams aside, explodes into the backfield and forces an incomplete pass sorta at Bennett's feet. It's not a split double team, Brandon Mebane clobber fest, but it's nice, and maybe it's meaningful. One day we can reconstruct the Balmer's career path and decide.
    • What makes it great is the quickness. He tears right through Williams and closes so fast Cutler is forced to throw it away or eat it. That's how devastating fast arriving inside pressure can be, and, a lot of times, eating the sack is the better option.
    • Clemons shows nice patience and pursuit and chases Matt Forte behind the line of scrimmage. As a linebacker like defender, Clemons really isn't so bad against the run. Thurmond sees the run developing and abandons coverage and tackles Forte from in front.
    • Then there's this, which, other than to point out that Tatupu makes players around him better even when he's not contributing stats of his own, is pretty self explanatory.
    • A year ago, Curry loses Cutler and doesn't recover.
    • This year, Curry loses Cutler but hustles back up and sacks.
    • Next year? Curry throttles down the motor, squares and beheads Sam Bradford.