Final Drive Did More than Just Seal the Win for the Bears

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Nov 4, 2013; Green Bay, WI, USA; Chicago Bears head coach Marc Trestman watches the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Timeout #1 by CHI at 07:50.

Here’s where it gets really interesting.  The Bears are 4th and a link of the chain to gain a first down but they’re in their own end of the field, at their 32 yard line.

Josh McCown talked about how Coach Trestman decided to go for it because of the faith he had in the defense.  I’d flip it around and suggest that Trestman didn’t trust his defense to go back on the field and the Bears’ best chance of winning was to gain an inch.  His big gamble paid off.  The Bears keep the drive alive and maintain possession with under 8 minutes to go.

4-1-CHI 32 (7:50) M.Forte left end to CHI 35 for 3 yards (N.Palmer).
1-10-CHI 35 (7:07) (Shotgun) M.Forte up the middle to CHI 39 for 4 yards (M.Neal).
PENALTY on CHI-A.Jeffery, Illegal Motion, 5 yards, enforced at CHI 35 – No Play.
1-15-CHI 30 (6:38) J.McCown pass incomplete short right to B.Marshall (M.Burnett).
2-15-CHI 30 (6:32) (Shotgun) J.McCown pass short middle to M.Forte to CHI 39 for 9 yards (C.Hayward).
3-6-CHI 39 (5:46) (Shotgun) J.McCown pass short middle to B.Marshall to 50 for 11 yards (C.Hayward).
1-10-50 (5:04) (Shotgun) M.Bush up the middle to GB 41 for 9 yards (N.Palmer).
2-1-GB 41 (4:21) (Shotgun) M.Forte up the middle to GB 39 for 2 yards (C.Hayward, N.Palmer).
1-10-GB 39 (3:39) M.Forte left end to GB 24 for 15 yards (A.Hawk).

This was a great heads-up play by Forte.  He takes off around left end and hit a decent gain.  There might have been some more yards to be gained, but he basically gave himself up to make sure he stayed in bounds to keep the clock running.  Marion Barber, he is not.
1-10-GB 24 (2:54) (Shotgun) M.Forte right guard to GB 21 for 3 yards (C.Hayward).
2-7-GB 21 (2:12) (Shotgun) M.Bush right tackle to GB 19 for 2 yards (M.Burnett, J.Lattimore).
Two-Minute Warning
3-5-GB 19 (2:00) (Shotgun) M.Forte left end to GB 11 for 8 yards (M.Burnett).
1-10-GB 11 (1:14) M.Forte right end to GB 4 for 7 yards (T.Williams; M.Burnett).
PENALTY on CHI-M.Bennett, Offensive Holding, 10 yards, enforced at GB 11 – No Play.
1-20-GB 21 (1:08) (Shotgun) M.Bush up the middle to GB 18 for 3 yards (M.Neal, A.Hawk).
Timeout #1 by GB at 01:04.
2-17-GB 18 (1:04) M.Bush right end to GB 15 for 3 yards (M.Burnett; M.Daniels).
Timeout #2 by GB at 00:58.
3-14-GB 15 (:58) (Shotgun) M.Bush up the middle to GB 9 for 6 yards (M.Burnett).
Timeout #3 by GB at 00:53.
4-8-GB 9 (:53) R.Gould 27 yard field goal is GOOD, Center-P.Mannelly, Holder-A.Podlesh.

Sure the Bears only netted 3 points on the drive, but they managed to milk nearly 9 minutes of clock while nursing a 4 point lead.  They played keep away with an impressive 18-play drive that killed the clock and the Packers’ chances for a comeback.  It was a big boy offense at work as Trestman called a great game, mixing up the run and the pass.

The biggest takeaway from the drive was Trestman’s decision to go for it on 4th and inches at his own end of the field while holding a lead.  He showed that he’ll flout conventional thinking and make a bold decision.  No coach had gone for it while holding a 4th quarter lead in two years.  David Haugh thinks it could be a buy-in moment, where Trestman wins over the locker room.  I agree.  It won over the fans too.  And beat the Packers.

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Tags: Chicago Bears Marc Trestman Martellus Bennett Matt Forte

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