In a 27-10 loss on Sunday night in prime time, the Green Bay Packers once again bullied the Chicago Bears.
Even though the defeat cannot be attributed to a single play, there is one contentious call that is getting a lot of attention. Justin Fields, the Bears’ quarterback, took the snap and ran the ball straight up the middle with the team facing fourth-and-goal from the one-yard line. He was deemed to be outside the goal line.
However, upon closer inspection and with a little assistance from the broadcast team, you could see the ball smash the aircraft. Any hopes of another comeback in the second half were officially dashed when Chicago challenged the call, but it stood.
Fields didn’t elaborate when asked if he believed he had scored.
“Yeah,” he said.
Coach Matt Eberflus of the Bears argued against the call because he shared this opinion.
“We felt we had a good look at it, so we made the challenge,” Eberflus said. “They thought otherwise, and that’s the way it goes sometimes. But we thought it was the best play we had at that point right there for us to score. If we score there, it’s a different ballgame. It’s a one-score game at that point, and we still got a chance right there to win.”
There were concerns about the play call itself, tossing the missed call to the side. Fields was lined up in shotgun on fourth-and-goal, about five yards away from the end zone, with the Bears mere inches away from the end zone, according to offensive coordinator Luke Getsy.
Eberflus outlined the rationale behind the Bears’ shotgun formation on fourth-and-goal.
“A lot of times what you do is you outnumber the box. So, you’re using your quarterback as a runner, you got an additional blocker and you like your numbers in the box there,” Eberflus said. “That’s why we called it. It was the best play we had right there at the time.”
We probably wouldn’t be having this discussion if the play had been declared a touchdown, as it ought to have been. However, it wasn’t, so Getsy will face some legitimate criticism.