The unit, directed by Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson, used its aggressive blitz package to record 13 sacks through the first three games, tied for the league lead with the New York Giants. But the Chicago Bears had a plan in mind to neutralize the Eagles rush and create some big plays of their own.
Anatomy of a Play
"The Eagles normally show you a lot of exotic (defensive) looks," Orton said, "but with the no huddle, they weren't able to substitute as much so they had to play more base. It definitely had them off balance."
Offensive coordinator Ron Turner was not intimidated by what he saw in the films of the Eagles defense. He saw ways that he could dictate coverage and create mismatches that would set up big plays. On the touchdown to Olsen, he got the tight end matched up one-on-one with linebacker Chris Gocong and Olsen pulled in Orton's perfectly thrown pass.
The play that we break down in this week's anatomy was the second Chicago touchdown when the Bears beat the Eagles blitz. They had a trips right formation with two tight ends -- Olsen and Desmond Clark -- and wide receiver Marty Booker lined up side by side. The Eagles were in man coverage and when Olsen ran to the flat and Clark broke inside, it left Quintin Mikell, a safety, one-on-one with Booker. It was a mismatch favoring Booker, who beat the Eagles safety by faking a corner route and breaking to the post.
Orton executed the play perfectly, looking off the other safety Brian Dawkins, then throwing a strike to Booker to complete the 23-yard touchdown. It was a beautifully designed play, but it only worked because the Bears offensive line -- with an assist from rookie running back Matt Forte -- picked up the Eagles blitz and gave Orton a nice wide pocket and a clear throwing lane.
Award-winning sportswriter Ray Didinger is a senior producer for NFL Films.