When you lose a game by three points, there is plenty of room for second-guessing, Monday Morning Quarterbacking, etc. The latest Bears loss, a 17-14 defeat at the hands of the Redskins is no exception. So let’s replay one critical sequence and see what went wrong.
The Situation - Bears up 14-10 with about 12 minutes left in the 3rd quarter. Earl Bennett catches a seam route from just inside of midfield and takes it down to the 1 yard line. Check out the highlight here.
The Blunder, Part I – Lovie Smith challenges that Earl Bennett had scored on the play. Replays were not inconclusive. When you have ball on the 1-yard line, most coaches will not challenge because they have 1st and goal from the 1, so they can just punch it in. But given their track record from the 1, Lovie challenges. The ruling on the field is upheld. Ball on the 1.
The Blunder, Part II - The Bears attempt to run a quarterback sneak right at Albert Haynesworth. Cutler appears to break the plane of the goal line with the ball before it is knocked out of his hands. Check out the video clip from NFL.com here. Check out my attempt to telestrate the play?
Do the Bears challenge this play? No. Why would they? They had just lost one, so why try again?
In that critical of a situation, how do you not challenge? It is a game-changing play, a scoring play. It’s about momentum there. You just marched the ball down the field on your opening drive of the third quarter and you just sit idly by?
Lovie Smith needs to be stripped of his little red flag. He needs to be fired immediately. (In case you don’t know, I write another little blog called FIRE LOVIE SMTIH for ChicagoNow, so I am a little biased, but check it out.) There is still time to save the season, but you’ve got to be decisive.