Northern_Falcon Posted September 7, 2011 Share Posted September 7, 2011 (edited) Chicago's Game plan: Penetrate Atlanta's O-LineSourceChris Harris wasn’t in the mood for a scary movie when he put in the video of the Atlanta Falcons offense. But that’s what he got.It wasn’t Matt Ryan passing to Tony Gonzalez or Roddy White, all three of them Pro Bowl selections and the kinds of individuals that cost secondaries, even a veteran safety, good nights’ sleep. It wasn’t just Michael Turner running his way into the Pro Bowl.It was the big guys bearing down on and picking on little people. Like veteran safeties.“We put on the tape and the first thing we notice is their offensive linemen 10, 12 15 yards downfield,” Harris said, shaking his head. “Last season and even in preseason, their line plays hard, very aggressive, and they finish blocks.”Curiously perhaps, the Falcons have not run the ball all that well against the Bears, who have never beaten them since Ryan arrived. But the Falcons may in fact be a case study supporting the kind of offensive game planning that worked for the Bears over the final nine regular-season games of 2010.And that smash-mouth approach to running the football that was the first thing Harris thought of when talking about the Atlanta offense that ranked No. 5 in scoring.The Bears have never sacked Ryan in the two games against the former No. 3 pick of the 2008 draft. Part of the reason: The Falcons have turned those offensive linemen loose, 30 times (vs. 30 pass plays) in the 22-20 win in 2008, 23 times (vs. 33 passes) in 2009. If you want to protect the passer, make pass rushers think about the run, and the Bears have.“They run the ball and obviously Matt Ryan is becoming an elite quarterback in this league,” Harris said. “He’s got the arm, he’s a smart guy, and he’s smart enough to get it out of his hands and to his playmakers. They’ve been a good running team and now have good skill position players just about everywhere.”The Bears virtually owned the Falcons when Michael Vick ran, literally, the Atlanta offense. In the three Bears-Falcons games of the Vick years, the Falcons scored 3 points twice and 13 once. They have scored 22 and 21 in the two Ryan games.If it starts up front for the Falcons, it does as well for the Bears on defense, where unprovens Mario Addison and Nick Reed, at 248 and 252 pounds, were kept on the defensive-end depth chart because of their pass rushing. Whether either, if active, can stand up to offensive linemen who consistently get downfield to second and third levels, remains to be seen.“I see a lot of guys that can play, that fill our system,” said defensive end Julius Peppers. “We have explosive and quick guys, that's what we try and have up front. We're not necessarily big guys, heavy guys, so I see all the guys that we have fit into the system. Edited September 7, 2011 by Northern_Falcon Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Join the conversation
You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.