Did Jay Cutler see something that wasn’t there? Did he change the play? Did Martellus Bennett miss his assignment? Should Cutler have given himself more options than a straight handoff?
It’s hard to say whether it was miscommunication, a bad formation or general discombobulation that foiled the two-point conversion attempt that would have tied the Bears-Broncos game with 24 seconds left in regulation Sunday. Apparently, it’s none of our damn business.
“I’m not going to get into schemes and what we are doing schematically,” coach John Fox said after Jeremy Langford was stuffed fairly easily on run behind right guard to seal the Bears’ fate in a 17-15 loss to the Broncos at Soldier Field. “Obviously we came up short.”
The Bears, who trailed throughout, had a chance to tie the game after Cutler drove the offense 65 yards on six plays in the final 1:49 of regulation, capped by Langford’s two-yard touchdown run. The Bears went back to Langford for the tie, but Broncos safety T.J. Ward came off the edge from the backside to catch Langford in the backfield. The Bears ran the same play successfully against the Chargers, but the Broncos added Ward on the edge and the Bears didn’t account for him.
“I think Foxy kind of covered it with scheme,” said Cutler, who was 18-for-32 for 265 yards, no touchdowns and one interception — plus a lost fumble on a sack — for a 70.6 passer rating. “We have a lot of options throughout this offense — first, second and third down. On that play … we got kind of a favorable look. We just didn’t execute it as well as we wanted to and didn’t get the job done.”
It appears that Cutler checked down to the running play after seeing the “favorable look” from the Broncos’ defensive front, but not everybody got the switch and Ward was left unblocked as Bennett went out in a pass pattern.
Answers on that front were equally hard to come by. Bennett, who had two receptions for 26 yards and drew 63 yards on three pass interference penalties, did not talk to reporters after the game. He did talk to Cutler in the Bears’ locker room. Good luck getting that transcript.
Cutler at least allowed that there was some second guessing in general in the Bears’ locker room after another close loss dropped the Bears to 4-6.
“Yeah. We’re human,” he said. “Any time you don’t get it done, there’s gong to be second-guessing and hindsight — on my part as well. We’ve had some tight games like this and we haven’t gotten it done in the fourth quarter like we wanted to. You look back and think, ‘What could we have done differently? What throws could I have made? What plays could we have checked out of?
“There’s definitely going to be that. But we gave ourselves a chance to win at the end. We just have to find a way to make it happen.”