The Chicago Bears outlasted the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 24-18 in London. To most of us well-versed football fans, it was a pretty routine game. Imagine though that you were a casual or even novice “American” football observer in London and scored a couple of tickets to see this “match”. There were some interesting plays that aren’t necessarily part of the American Football 101 course:
On three consecutive plays in the first quarter, Jay Cutler’s overthrown pass intended for Marion Barber was intercepted, followed by a Chris Conte interception of a Josh Freeman near-touchdown pass, followed by a Bucs safety when Matt Forte failed to get out of the end zone. It’s not every day you see the referee fold his hands over his head.
After the safety, the Bears get a free kick, which is pretty uncommon and probably looks more like something out of a rugby match.
Then you had the whole Brian Urlacher interception, then fumble then not a fumble and add 15-yards to boot on the successful Lovie Smith challenge. Here’s how NFL.com described it:
(14:02) 5-J.Freeman pass short middle intended for 82-K.Winslow INTERCEPTED by 54-B.Urlacher at CHI 9. 54-B.Urlacher to CHI 18 for 9 yards (73-D.Hardman). FUMBLES (73-D.Hardman), RECOVERED by TB-17-A.Benn at CHI 19. 17-A.Benn to CHI 19 for no gain (54-B.Urlacher). PENALTY on TB-62-T.Larsen, Face Mask (15 Yards), 15 yards, enforced at CHI 14 – No Play. Chicago challenged the fumble ruling, and the play was REVERSED. 5-J.Freeman pass short middle intended for 82-K.Winslow INTERCEPTED by 54-B.Urlacher at CHI 9. 54-B.Urlacher to CHI 17 for 8 yards (73-D.Hardman). PENALTY on TB-62-T.Larsen, Face Mask (15 Yards), 15 yards, enforced at CHI 17.
Hell, a Lovie Smith successful challenge is in and of itself a freak occurrence – he’s 2/9 over the last two seasons. That was a crazy sequence. Brits were pro
When Tampa closed the gap to within 10 points following a Josh Freeman to Kellen Winslow touchdown, the Bucs go for a 2-point conversion. The try failed. You don’t see those every game.
It was an interesting and fun to watch game, especially if you’re on the winning end. I think the Bears and Bucs gave Londoners a jolly good match, even though the Brits hate all the stoppages of play.