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60-second rant: Belichick could expose Bears’ greatest flaw

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Dan Parr

dparr@pfwmedia.com
Associate editor

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Posted Dec. 07, 2010 @ 8:12 p.m. ET
By Dan Parr

The Bears have won five games in a row and are only a game back in the race to secure home-field advantage in the NFC, but they still have an obvious weakness, and something tells me Bill Belichick is going to have a good plan for exploiting it on Sunday.

Finding the soft spot of a team and crafting a plan to take advantage of it is something Belichick seems to do about as well as anyone.

His eyes might light up when he watches the tape of the Bears' offensive tackles.

There's been a lot of talk about the Bears' offensive line gelling in recent weeks as its started the same five players at the same five positions in each of the past five games. OTs Frank Omiyale and J'Marcus Webb, however, didn't perform well against the Lions, who sacked QB Jay Cutler four times. DE Cliff Avril looked dominant at times, making three sacks after he had just four in the first 11 games of the season. He missed 1½ games earlier this season with a concussion, but Cutler has still been sacked a league-high 41 times, and Omiyale and Webb are not the most reliable protectors.

New England doesn't have much in the way of pass rushers, and pressuring quarterbacks has been a struggle for the club at times. OLB Tully Banta-Cain, who brought down Mark Sanchez for his fourth sack of the season Monday night, is their greatest weapon when it comes to putting heat on quarterbacks.

Teams take any segment of the Patriots' roster lightly at their own peril, however. Offensive coordinator Mike Martz is a smart coach, but he'll be trying to out-scheme one of the league's best this week. Keeping his quarterback upright — and making sure his offensive tackles get as much as help as possible — has to be a priority that he doesn't overlook.

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