These underrated DL will test Chicago Bears OTs Week 4
The Chicago Bears offensive tackles will have a tougher test than some may think in week 4
The biggest reason for success with the Chicago Bears offense can be tied back to their offensive line. They have not been allowing pressure, and allowed Mitch Trubisky no excuses for struggling against Atlanta. It gave the team the confidence to move on to Nick Foles.
Still, while the line has held up, you do not look at Atlanta, New York, and Detroit for pass rush stars. Nonetheless, Charles Leno and Bobby Massie have held up their end and have kept the quarterback clean.
While the Indianapolis Colts do not feature a star studded list of rushers on the outside like Khalil Mack and Robert Quinn, they do have a nice rotation that has consistently gotten pressure.
Leno is going to see Justin Houston and Al-Quadin Muhammed through most of Sunday. Houston is the obvious name, but like Robert Quinn, he is a rotational player. The Colts know what they have in Houston and have not asked him to take on huge workloads at his age.
However, while Houston is rotational, his role is different than Quinn. Quinn is a pure rusher who comes off the field against the run. Houston plays most run downs. He wins with power, and against the run, Leno is going to struggle.
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Fortunately, Leno is a good match for Houston against the pass. However, that is typically where Muhammed comes in. Muhammed is a speed rusher, and has been excellent this season stepping in for obvious pass rush situations.
Take a look a the play here and see his speed, and hand placement flash.
Muhammed has seven pressures and three hits through three weeks. Fortunately for Leno, he is at his best dealing with speed. The Bears may struggle to run to Houston’s side, but they should be able to protect the blind side from Muhammed.
Muhammed will rush from the other side as well. However, that spot is typically for Denico Autry. Autry is a fascinating player. He started at defensive tackle for the last year, but when the Colts traded for DeForest Buckner, Autry lost his job. Instead, Autry moved outside to defensive end.
On early downs, Autry will play outside, but on pass downs, he can swing inside, next to Buckner. However, while it is not his typical spot, Autry has been a terror on the edge.
Autry has eight pressures and two sacks through three games. Take a look at the play below to see the violence that he beats Jawaan Taylor, a former highly regarded prospect.
When Chicago Bears hear the names Al-Quadin Muhammed and Denico Autry, fear does not run down their spine. However, this duo is the perfect blend of power and speed. With a veteran in Justin Houston helping to keep them in a rotation, the trio has to be respected on Sunday.
It is fair to say that Sunday will be the biggest test of 2020 for Leno and Massie.