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Now and Then: Bears and Blitzing

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Getty Images
    CHICAGO - OCTOBER 17: Jay Cutler #6 of the Chicago Bears is hit after throwing by Raheem Brock #98 of the Seattle Seahawks at Soldier Field on October 17, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Seahawks defeated the Bears 23-20. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Jay Cutler;Raheem Brock

    The Seahawks beat the Bears in their last meeting by employing a continuous blitzing scheme. 

    Jay Cutler was sacked six times and even gave up a safety. Just weeks after Cutler sustained a concussion against the Giants, the sight of him hitting the ground at Soldier Field that often was worrisome.

    In fact, Bears offensive line coach Mike Tice chose not to show the offensive line film from that game. That line, the one that was so ineffective against the blitz, was different from the Bears line that will show up this Sunday against the Seahawks.

    Or is it? After all, Cutler was sacked six times by the Packers in the last game of the season. But of those six sacks, only one came from the secondary, which is not a statistic that reflects an effective blitz. (Three and a half sacks against the Seahawks came from players on the secondary.) The Packers six sacks can be attributed to the fact that the Packers are really, really good at rushing the passer. They lead the NFC in sacks, and Clay Matthews is the fourth-best sack-man in the NFL.

    When the line shows up, as they did against the Jets, Eagles and Vikings, the Bears are a different team than the one who lost to Seattle. They've found a consistent line-up and are more cohesive. Cutler is still the most-sacked quarterback in the league, but a combination of a more balanced offensive attack, a quicker release from Cutler and a communicative offense has helped keep the QB upright.

    For a win on Sunday, that effective, cohesive line needs to show up, and they need to keep Cutler standing.