Fourth-and-one 'go' was the right call
December 3, 2012, 12:01 am
Would you have taken the three points or called Michael Bush’s number for that half-yard at the Seattle 15 in the second quarter of the Bears’ 20-17 overtime loss to the Seahawks?
Lovie Smith himself argued both sides of the decision after the game, that his head-coach call really hurt his team but later that he’d probably go for it again.
If you’re already a Lovie-hater, he was an idiot. If you’re not, and judging from the stadium reaction when it was evident that the Bears were going to go for it, the “go” call would have been widely seconded, then it made sense.
It’s actually why the Bears spent a lot of money for Bush. And fold these elements into the discussion:
Smith and the Bears had a chance to sustain a drive that was on the way to a second touchdown and 14-0 lead. The offense had a dagger in its hand;
The Bears had called six running plays previously on that possession. After a no-gain by Matt Forte, the next five all had produced positive yardage;
In Bush, the Bears have a back that had converted seven of nine third-and-one’s this season, and four of whose five rushing touchdowns have been for one yard. Put another way, this someone whose specialty is getting a single yard when opponents are most ramped up not to let him get one.
In addition, Smith likely factored in the fact that even not picking up the first down was to give Seattle the football at its own 15. He was putting the situation in the hands of both his offense and defense. Pick a gaffe, any gaffe
How many plays “cost” the Bears that game? How about any of these:
- Major Wright not intercepting the deep throw to Sidney Rice just after the two-minute warning;
- Earl Bennett getting turned around and bobbling away what would have been a 62-yard touchdown pass in the first half;
- The 11-yard Russell Wilson completion on third-and-14, which was followed by a seven-yard completion on fourth down and a 27-yard throw to Sidney Rice the play before the go-ahead touchdown.
- (your choice here). Sick bay: some potential lost time
As devastating as the sick bay looked after last week’s win over Minnesota, the losses against Seattle may prove every bit as serious.
All but receiver Devin Hester (concussion) and guards Lance Louis (knee, IR) and Chris Spencer (knee) were able to play against the Seahawks.
But receiver Earl Bennett went out Sunday with a concussion, and Hester and Jay Cutler were held out of the next game with their head injuries.
Cornerback Tim Jennings did not get up after a monumental collision with 240-pound fullback Michael Robinson in overtime. He will have an MRI exam on Monday but even a bruised shoulder typically will cost him no less than a game.
Brian Urlacher was sidelined a couple plays after Jennings when he felt a hamstring problem. Exact severity also will not be apparent until further evaluation.
Safety Chris Conte had to leave the game due to illness in the first quarter but is unlikely to be at risk of lost playing time next Sunday in Minnesota.
Tags: Michael Bush
, Matt Forte
, Chicago Bears
, Lovie Smith
, John Mullin
, Earl Bennett
, Devin Hester
, Brian Urlacher
, Tim Jennings
, Major Wright
, Chris Conte