Breaking Down: Cutler Fumbles, Briggs Seals Game With Pick Six

Breaking Down: Cutler Fumbles, Briggs Seals Game With Pick Six

It was the most important two-minute stretch of the Bears v. Cowboys Monday nighter. DeMarcus Ware forced a Jay Cutler fumble and gave the Cowboys terrific field position as they trailed 17-7. A touchdown means Game On. A field goal puts all the pressure on the Bears offense. Instead Lance Briggs went sprinting into the end zone. Let's break down both plays.

Here's the video:


  • 0:02.  DeMarcus Webb uses no technique to beat J'Marcus Webb to the outside. He simply runs around him. And Webb doesn't do a terrible job on the play.
  • 0:03. What causes Cutler to slide from the pocket is NOT the pressure from Ware. It is the a stunt blitz from Dallas linebacker Victor Butler that blows up the play. Gabe Carimi actually does a nice job picking Butler up but Butler's presence cause Cutty to slide to his right, directly into Ware's path.
  • 0:27. You realize why that slide is pivotal as Dane Sanzenbacher crosses the screen, open. If Cutler were able to spend a second more in the pocket, he would have 10-15 yards in front of him.
  • 0:03. Go back to to the live play. You want to find that second? Brandon Carr roughs up Dane Sanzenbacher (after five yards, should have been penalized) just enough to slow down his route. Without that contact, Cutler would have seen a free Great Dane and most likely made the throw earlier.
  • 0:45. Great hustle by Butler AGAIN to recover the fumble. If he's not alert as the ball comes free, Matt Forte is going to collect it for the Bears.


  • 1:14. The Bears defensive line is playing at a level I've not seen them play during the Lovie Smith era. Three of the four defensive linemen get a significant push, with Melton and Peppers absolutely destroying the offensive linemen in front of them.
  • 1:16. If Romo turns to his left, he has DeMarco Murray standing alone in the flat. And I mean no-defensive-player-for-ten-yards alone. And it's not a breakdown situation. The screen is built into the design as a last resort and Romo has to go there with the ball. These are the types of bad decisions FORCED BY PRESSURE.
  • 1:15. I took out a stopwatch and timed how long is takes Melton to hit Romo from the snap. 2.7 seconds. When that is the case, the only possible passes to complete are quick screens and slants. Melton makes the play of the game.
  • 1:48. There are two large offensive linemen in front of Briggs when he makes the catch and he Walter Paytons em! Look at that juke move Briggsy uses and look at his speed as he accelerates down the field.
  • 1:37 & 1:41. Look at the joy on the faces of Brian Urlacher and Lovie Smith. These guys live on turnovers and scoring. Plays like that one has to remind them of being kids in the schoolyard and it's refreshing for a fan to see.
  • 1:52. I don't know if Lawrence Vickers (#47) or DeMarco Murray could actually bring Briggs down before the end zone but they never got the opportunity because of the tremendous hustle of Tim Jennings - my new favorite Bear. Jennings tracks with Briggs, completely shifts Vickers off the pace and then holds up a charging Murray.

Two fascinating plays. Two minutes that changed the entire game.

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  • The juke by Briggs was very impressive, I'm sure I read somewhere that was his first return for a TD since 2005? Excellent stuff.

  • In reply to DYLbear23:

    very clever.

  • Cutler held the ball for a second too long, one of maybe 2 mistakes for Jay last night.

    Melton has been playing out of his mind for new paper so far this season. His pressure along with Paea up the middle has been the key to success for the D this season.

    Haven't seen Briggs move that fast since fleeing the scene of the Lambo crash. Thanks MB.

  • In reply to Shady:

    Melton has been a beast for sure. He's playing at a Pro-Bowl level thus far.

    When Brian is back to 100%, this defense will be *sick*.

  • In reply to Shady:





    Hat Trick, Shady!

  • the way he took off was crazy. the moment before, a bunch of Cowboys hecklers kept talking noise like they were about to punch it in. as soon as Briggs caught it & made that juke, knew he was gone. crazy speed...watching a live pro football game makes you appreciate these players' speed & athleticism. Julius Peppers? utterly insane.

  • The Briggs play was the biggest of the game. In regards to your last post jeff: I don't think your analysis of Conte is fair. Due to lach's inability to cover effectively against the passing game due to the knee, Conte is having to play a dual LB/safety role where he's resposible for both short/intermediate and long routes. Even on outside runs, Conte is having to get to spots that lach would normally cover. Sometimes, that meant he was a step off of being where he needed to be on 20+ yard throwing attempts, but he still wasn't lagging a Merriweather-like distance behind where he was expected to be on those long throws despite having to play as Urlacher's bandaid the whole game. Conte was everywhere last night and I was thoroughly impressed with the kid.

  • In reply to Crown:

    Brian was like an old warhorse limping around at 60% at best. It was sad and heroic at the same time. He has been a warrior for so long but if he has to switch directions or shed a block the old knee just can't do it.

    I fear that this season will be his last because he doesn't give it time to heal adequately to be effective this or next year.

  • In reply to Crown:

    With you on Conte Crown, as you know. I think he's going to be back there for a long time for our Chicago Bears.

  • In reply to SC Dave:

    and by 'back there' you mean 45 yards off the ball every play, right Dave?

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    No, not at all. Conte was everywhere. I don't have the numbers handy, but I would bet he led the team in tackles last night.

  • In reply to Crown:

    Yup. Conte led in tackles last night and is 3rd on the team behind Briggs and DJ, but if you add assists he's #1.

  • In reply to Crown:

    Conte played great. I read or heard on the radio that when Conte and Wright start together at safety, opposing QB's have an average rating of about 64. That says a lot about their body of work together.

  • In reply to TheFifth:

    Conte and Wright have started together at least 10 times.

  • In reply to TheFifth:

    On the Tillman pick 6, Conte was blitzing untouched on the same side Romo was throwing the pass. That probably contributed to the interception.

  • In reply to TheFifth:

    I saw that Fifth. That's why Romo got rid of it early hoping Dez Bryant was where he was supposed to be. Fortunately, Bryant doesn't seem to care or understand what call is played.

  • Boom:

  • “I’ve got to go see my family, guys,” Webb said laughing when he was asked about it (Jay Cutler bump incident AGAIN). “I want to go hug my mom. Jay hugged me, but I want to go hug my mom right now. You guys are out of control.”

    yet it won't stop. Too many people suck off of the teat of the NFL for their livelihood. Too many nerds that have never played the game at a meaningful level. Trick ass reporters whoring out for their jobs to feed a kardashian culture.

  • Unchained Wafflery, right there.

  • Yeah.. I played sports all through HS and some in college. I gto into a fight with the guy who played inside LB (I played outside and he was trying to tell me i missed an assignment, which i did not) and not a verbal altercation but a fist fight. The next day we were laughing about it. I still see dude at the gym or out and about now and then and we get along great. Sometimes I think the media feels like everyone should act like women and hold grudges forever over petty BS.

  • Florio would love that. At PFT they treat it like one big soap opera.

  • I should have read your post before I posted.

  • No shit, I hopped in my car about 5pm today and turned on a national radio show. The first topic was a soap opera: Jay Cutler walked away from Tice for a few seconds. They didn't even talk about the game before the next topic. I wasted 5 minutes of my time on that shit.

  • Juggs Machine Jennings bolted down the field out of nowhere. That dude is FAST!

    He out ran Vickers who had a head start, then, out ran Murray, who ran a 4.41 40! Wholly crap.

  • That prompted a comment from the girlfriend last night:

    "Is Jennings really that must faster than everyone else?"

    It was like the Cowboys had lead in their shoes. Briggs looked like Forte breaking a run up the middle.

  • "I really appreciate Jay,” Davis said. “He had faith in me and he came back and let me make some plays. It felt good to make some plays.”

    If KD can contribute like that on a weekly basis opposing teams will be totally screwed.

    3/4 for 62 yards and 3 first downs. Huge.

  • Know who I wish we had... JJ Watt. Dude's a fucking stud.

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    I hear ya. If he would have stayed for his senior season last year, Wisconsin may have been contenders for the National Championship. McClellin reminds me of him with his motor. He made two mistakes yesterday on contain, but he's disruptive and never quits on a play. I think he has a good future in front of him.

  • I was spitting mad last night that we had Conte moving down and basically playing Cover 1 high with Pringles to do nothing but help Lack out against Witten. I was spitting mad about that from Lovie.

    Look, it's over. I know guys who blew the ACL out on the slopes who are happy they can still get on the train. It fucking sucks that it all went down the last, meaningless game in a fucked up Caleb Hanie nightmare, like Children of the damn Corn, instead of playoffs. But it did.

    And now? It's time to go to Roach. He's no better than Lack against the run - neither of them can shed a block. We need to draft somebody like the Cowboy's Lee or the Panther's Kuechley next year - but at least Roach can run down a back on a release, or have a fucking prayer of bringing a back on the draw down.

    It's sad to watch a man who once ran Michael Vick down with ease look like Frankenstein out there for Halloween. But it is what it is. It's time to sit down, Brian. If Lovie won't do it, you need to do it.

  • In reply to gpldan:

  • In reply to gpldan:

    I'd still take a 75% Lach over Roach at MLB, easy. EASY.

  • In reply to Shady:

    thank you shady

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    Online in 45 mins.

  • In reply to Shady:

    At work. Can't go home till 8. Going out with dinner/bar anyway.

  • In reply to Shady:

    what about a 60% Lach?

  • Closer, but I'd still take Lach.

  • A friend of mine who was at the game, and incidently a huge Pats fan (got tickets from client) used to always tell me Bears D was overrated, especially Briggs. After the game he texts that Briggs is an absolute beast that when he tackles the sound of wood is simply amazing, not to mention speed on that pick 6. Emery thank god inked him.

  • If you ask me, we will be adding three more Chicago Bear defenders to the Hall Of Fame when it's all said and done. Especially if we win THIS year.

    Briggsy, Peppers, Urlacher.

    First Ballot? Probably not, though Peppers should be. But HOF worthy, no doubt.

    Urlacher knows this is it for him. He'll play through the year on a bad wheel and still hold down the middle and lead this D. He'll limp off the field hoisting the Lombardi trophy and we'll all cry like babies.

    Take off next week, big fella. Give yourself two more weeks to heal up. Get some work in, and come back strong for the stretch run. We MAY be able to do it without ya. But I'm not sure I want to.

  • That is a fantastic photo Jeff. I agree with you on the importance of the 53 yard punt early in the game.

  • Well the 4 letter networks are upholding their reputations of "Douchebags" by questioning Cutlers leading ability. Maybe some of them need to go work a "real" job instead of making shit up and getting paid for it. Only weathermen get that privilage. and PR people...

  • In reply to MaddBearfan:

    We've flogged this horse again and again on this blog, but it remains true:

    the national media hates Halas Hall and the organization.

    I think there are several reasons for this, but we've been through them so I won't belabor it.

  • Hey guys, long time lurker on the blog, first time poster.

    Overall, an excellent night of Bears football, with a few lucky breaks as well.

    Dez Bryant having hands of stone and a head full of the same helped us out quite a bit.

    Miles Austin is a baller and DJ couldn't stop him with such a mismatch, until that late pick on a forced throw. :)

    The line performed admirably on both sides of the ball. Offensively, this was a result of Tice's playcalling improving. Defensively, I think it is due to having a deep bench of physical freaks on our DLINE.

    Going into the bye week 4-1 would be great, we need to win this week! BEAR DOWN!

  • In reply to Scharfinator:

    Scharfie - decent first post. Felt a little troll-ish in the first 4 sentences but I agree that Dez and Ogletree spotted us some plays but we kind of countered by putting my Grandpa out at middle linebacker and letting Witten catch 250,000 yards on 570 catches. My Gampy wears a life alert and has a fake leg from a particularly brutal assault of a nameless hill in Korea.

    Ogletree may have heard footsteps since Briggs was about to blow up his life. Dez seems to be weaker mentally and loses focus.

    We will stomp on MJD and Gabbert this week. Blaine may not make it out of this game. MJD will have 79 yards on 31 carries.

    Bears 4-1
    Gabbert Dead
    MJD Dead. Karma is a bitch. Let's see how you like getting gangtackled cause it's about to happen every other play.

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