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Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Rams-Bears study session: Defense

By Nick Wagoner

ST. LOUIS -- A look back at the St. Louis Rams’ 42-21 win against the Chicago Bears after reviewing the All-22 film.

Big play: Rams linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar dropped Bears running back Michael Bush for a loss of 4 yards from the Rams’ 1 on fourth and goal with 8:21 to go in the third and the Rams leading 24-14.

Michael Bush
Jo-Lonn Dunbar's tackle of Michael Bush on fourth and goal capped the Rams' third-quarter goal-line stand.
The Rams and Bears came out in goal-line formations. The Rams had eight defenders at the line of scrimmage, including safety Rodney McLeod and linebacker Alec Ogletree.  Linebackers James Laurinaitis and Dunbar lined up behind the line with safety T.J. McDonald. Each lined up a step or two inside the other.

The Bears came out with seven blockers on the line, including an extra lineman and two blockers in front of Bush, one directly in front and the other offset right. Quarterback Josh McCown came out under center.

At the snap, the Bears blocked down to the left with right guard Kyle Long pulling to the left and both fullbacks flowing the same direction with Bush behind. Tight end Dante Rosario, who was the extra blocker in the backfield offset to the right, was supposed to get to Dunbar after the snap. But Dunbar read the play immediately, and Rosario got stuck in traffic, actually running into Long as Dunbar shot the gap.

Dunbar was on Bush before Rosario ever sniffed contact and dropped the running back almost immediately after he got the ball to complete the goal-line stand.

Hidden play: Two plays earlier, Rams cornerback Janoris Jenkins offered textbook coverage against Alshon Jeffery and broke up a second-and-goal pass from the 4 to help set up the stop.

The Rams lined up with four down linemen, three linebackers and two safeties in the slot in a normal alignment with the two corners playing about 3 yards off the line of scrimmage.

The Bears had Jeffery split left with tight end Martellus Bennett attached to the line standing outside right tackle and two receivers, including Brandon Marshall split right. Bush lined up at running back with McCown in the shotgun.

At the snap, the Rams rushed four, but McLeod appeared indecisive in the slot, leaving Jenkins one on one with Jeffery. McCown wasted no time throwing the jump ball to the bigger Jeffery but Jenkins was ready for it. He turned immediately to look and timed his jump just right. Jenkins got his left arm in the way to deflect the pass away as it fell incomplete.

Other observations: