Questionable play calling key factor in Chicago Bears loss
Facing a fourth-and-one in Lions’ territory early in the game, head coach Marc Trestman decided to leave the offense on the field rather than take the easy three points. The gamble did not pay off, and the Lions would later score to increase their lead.
Last week, the Bears faced a similar situation and were able to get the first down so I can see where this call came from. At the same time, however, not utilizing arguably the best kicker in the game to get your team easy points is a head-scratcher. Not to mention the final score was 21-19, so that decision to be greedy came back to haunt the Bears.
Something else that came back to haunt the Bears was something that saved the Bears in a early-season matchup between the two teams in 2010. In that game, Lions’ wideout Calvin Johnson appeared to score the game-winning touchdown with around thirty seconds remaining. After review, Johnson did not have complete control all the way through and the call was reversed. That ruling would come to be known as the “Calvin Johnson rule”.
Fast forward to 2013. Late in the game, Alshon Jeffery came down with what appeared to be a touchdown that would put the Bears in the lead. Not so fast, as Jeffery did not complete the process of the catch, and the call was overturned.
Jeffery also dropped what looked like a touchdown earlier in the game, which would have made Cutler look better than he did. The quarterback did not have a bad game statistics-wise by any means, going 21-for-40 for 240 yards and a touchdown along with an interception, but as the game went on he progressively got worse. Backup Josh McCown entered for Cutler, who injured his ankle and could not finish the game, for the Bears’ final drive. McCown threw for a touchdown and almost led the Bears to a comeback and possibly overtime, fueling the fire for the backup to start over Cutler in next week’s game against the Baltimore Ravens.
A lot of people will blame Cutler for the loss, but the real culprit for the Bears Sunday was a combination of missed opportunities along with multiple head-scratching decisions. The biggest missed opportunity was when Lions’ defensive end Willie Young was called for roughing the passer, giving the Bears another opportunity at a game-tying two-point conversion. They chose to give the ball to Forte, who was met immediately by Nick Fairley and flattened to the ground for a loss.
The defense improved in some areas Sunday, including holding the potent Lions offense to just 21 points. Reggie Bush did run for 105 yards and Johnson had two touchdowns on 83 yards receiving, but the Bears were able to disrupt quarterback Matthew Stafford and the passing game on multiple occasions. Chris Conte, who has played poorly so far this season, intercepted Stafford in the fourth quarter but the offense could not capitalize as they only were able to get a field goal out of that drive.
This game was a frustrating one for Bears fans to watch, and the Lions gave the Bears many chances to win. At the end of the day, let us hope they can regroup and get their season back on track.
Read more Bears rumors, news and opinion on our Chicago Bears page