Game Of Missed Opportunities – Bears Lose 21-19

You know it’s always a terrible Sunday when the high point of your day is the optimism of winning signified by the opening kickoff.

This was the game of missed opportunities and it was just awful to watch after the opening drive TD to Brandon Marshall. The first four minutes looked so smooth and it looked like it was going to be a glorious, offense packed Sunday in Chicago.

Then it turned into total $#!t…

Every time you looked it up something negative was going on for the Bears and most of the time it was the Bears doing it themselves. As mentioned above, this was the game of missed opportunities and if you saw it like I saw it, here’s how it happened with the top 5 things that should burn in your mind and make you scream in your sleep:

1)      (2nd Quarter) 7-7 Tie Game – 4th and 1 on Detroit 27 yard line – Play call – Michael Bush Rush – Result – Not even close, turnover on downs (would have been a 44 yard field goal) Opportunity Cost – Bears would be up 10-7

Immediately after this happened it should have been refuted. This was Trestman being too proud and too confident coming off of a successful fourth down attempt late in the game on Monday night and trying to double up.

It amazes me that coaches don’t have a code of conduct that they live by in certain situations. To me there are two “absolute musts” if I’m a head coach in every situation:

1)      Always take the points in the first half

2)      Always run the ball on 1st & goal inside the two yard line

Trestman violated a cardinal philosophy of mine so he’s going to get lambasted for it. Not only did that decision turn out to be the difference in the game as a result, it kills first half momentum that would have given the Bears the lead. When you are in a crucial division game that can very well decide the playoffs, you always take a lead when you back is up against the wall (especially when you have an injured QB).

Opportunity Cost – An early lead of 10-7

2)      (2nd Quarter) 7-7 Tie Game – :24 seconds left in the 1st half – Bears on the Lions goal line – Play Call – Quick Slant To Martellus Bennett – Result – Interception tipped at the line thrown into triple coverage

This almost needs no explanation. Last drive of the first half, this far into Detroit territory, you need to take the lead. This INT falls on Cutler’s shoulder’s because he didn’t even give the Bears a chance. The release was low enough to be batted in the air and intercepted. Huge for Detroit, paralyzing for the Bears (considering the Lions got the ball at half and scored a quick touchdown).

Opportunity Cost – The lead going into half.  

3)      (4th Quarter) 14 – 10 Lions – 1st and Goal on Detroit 9 Yard Line – Play call – Off-tackle left to Forte for a TOUCHDOWN – Result – Holding on Matt Slauson replay 1st Down

Just when it looked like all was lost, there was hope. The Bears offense wasn’t moving with Cutler playing on one groin but Chris Conte came up with a monster interception that gave the Bears the field position to score a touchdown. Score a touchdown they did on the first play, but everything was negated when Matt Slauson was called for the hold.

Opportunity Cost – a 17-13 lead at best and 10 critical yards in the red zone.

4)      (4th Quarter) 14 – 10 Lions – 3rd and Goal on Detroit 16 yard line – Play call – Huck it to the end zone – Result – TOUCHDOWN Alshon Jeffery … wait no, “ruling on the field is overturned”

Both 1st and 2nd down were pathetic attempts to get yards and on third down they finally took a shot. Cutler threw it deep to Alshon in the back right corner of the end zone and Jeffery came down with what looked like to be the go-ahead touchdown until the refs got to look at it under the hood. When America got to see the play, it was a clear bobble and not a touchdown.

It’s hard to rag on Alshon because he’s had a great season but this was the second opportunity that Alshon blew in the end zone today (first one being on a deep post that he dropped) and that cannot be had, plain and simple.

Opportunity Cost – a 17-13 lead in the 4th quarter

5)      (4th Quarter) – 21 – 19 Lions – Two Point Conversion Attempt – Result – Loss

The exclamation point on a miserable day came after Josh McCown’s lone drive of the game and him leading the Bears down to a touchdown. All the Bears needed was a two point conversion to more than likely force overtime. The Bears had two attempts at this and Coach Trestman fumbled both play calls. The first was a quarterback rollout where he gave McCown only one option in a quick out. Luckily enough the Lions were thuggish enough to go after McCown’s head and they got a second chance at it.

It was at this time that the genius in Trestman must have been asleep because everyone and their old grandmother knew a run was coming… a run. Trestman had the audacity to keep Marshall  & Jeffery off the field on the game tying play and to run the ball up the gut on a top 3 toughest up the middle defense.

This loss is bitter and it really hurts because it was all self-inflicted wounds brought upon by poor coaching choices and a lack of execution in critical moments. Everyone but Trestman knew that Cutler should have been sat for the fear of further injury. Sadly had Jay been sat and Josh been giving the opportunity, it is very conceivable to assume the Bears would have gotten a win today.

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