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NFL Bad Beats: Three Little Bears Blew A Game
by Ben Burns

First, Bad Beats would like to offer its sincerest condolences to Chicago Bears fans, who lost linebacker Brian Urlacher for the year during Sunday’s loss to Green Bay.

Now, we would like make fun of Nathan Vasher, Lovie Smith and Jay Cutler. Nice work, guys.

We’ll start with Vasher, who was so overly concerned about the Packers running for a first down on a 3rd and 1 at midfield that he allowed Greg Jennings to blow by him for a winning and covering touchdown.

It all went down with a 1:22 left and the underdog Bears leading 15-13.

The Packers were on the move for what seemed destined to be a go-ahead field goal. But why settle for a field goal, if you can get an isolated corner to bite on play-action on 3rd and 1? We have one quick question for Mr. Vasher, then we’ll move on:

You were spread out wide, all by yourself on an island, as they say. Even if the Packers had elected to run, would you have been able to help prevent them from picking up the first down?

Vasher’s toasting likely wouldn’t have mattered at all if it wasn’t for the performance of his coach and quarterback.

Smith has made some questionable decisions throughout his career in Chicago, but electing to run a fake punt on 4th and 11 from your own 26 in the fourth quarter of a tight game is absurd. As of Tuesday afternoon, we hadn’t received our explanation from Smith. Some say it was an automatic call in an effort to catch the Packers with 12 men on the field.

But it’s 4th and 11 from your own 26. How does five yards help? Other possible excuses … well … crappy coaching?

Smith challenged on the play, but replays clearly showed an excess Packer defender had easily made it off the field before the snap. It cost the Bears timeout, which might have come in handy on their final drive, if our main man Cutler wouldn’t have thrown his fourth pick of the night.

Cutler’s debut was an absolute disaster. Chicago sports writer Rick Morrissey even mentioned, “Grossman-like.”

Cutler went 17 of 36 for 277 yards, one touchdown and the four interceptions. It equaled a passer rating of 43.2 and a bad beat for Bears backers.

Quick condolences to: Anyone who had the Bengals on the money line. Brandon Stokley caught a tipped pass and raced 87-yards with 11 seconds left to give the underdog Broncos an improbable 12-7 win … Anyone has the Washington Huskies -20 against Idaho. The Vandals drove 92 yards on nine plays and scored on a six-yard touchdown run with 13 seconds left to cover by one. Final score: 42-23 … Anyone who had the Giants against the Redskins. The Giants failed to score touchdowns on three red zone opportunities and surrendered a 72-yard scoring drive with three minutes to play. Final score: 23-17.

David Payne wrote this on behalf of Ben Burns.

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