Anatomy of a Drive: Fourth Down Fail - NBC Chicago
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Anatomy of a Drive: Fourth Down Fail



    Anatomy of a Drive: Fourth Down Fail

    Besides the Calvin Johnson non-touchdown call, the element of Sunday's game that had Bears fans talking (or possibly, yelling)  came with about 10 minutes left in the game.

    The Bears started the drive on the Lions one-yard line yet still failed to score any points. Let's take a closer look at everything that went wrong in that drive.

    • First Down -- Starting on the 1-yard line after a Lance Briggs fumble recovery, Matt Forte rushed to the right behind the Bears anemic O-line. He was stopped.
    • Second Down -- The Bears went to the air this time, but Cutler couldn't complete the pass. But they had one more chance to get it in, so no worries, right?
    • Third Down -- Wrong. Forte was given the ball again, and again, he could not break through for a touchdown. At this point, Bears fans expected to see Robbie Gould trot onto the field. After all, we were down by one, and it was a chip-shot field goal. Gould would be able to make it with his eyes closed, and the Bears would take the lead.That is not what happened. Lovie Smith opted to show confidence in the offense that has been atrocious in the red zone. He decided the team should go for the touchdown here.
    • Fourth Down -- Forte rushed to the right. No gain for Forte. Possession goes the Lions on downs.

    Smith made two egregious errors here. First, he went for it on fourth down in the fourth quarter of an NFC North game when the Bears were down by one. It's football 101 to go for the lead in this situation.

    Secondly, Smith and his offensive coordinator Mike Martz showed no innovation in going for the TD. Sure, it was gusto-filled, but it still needs to be executed well. If Forte wasn't able to break through the Lions defensive line on the first two tries, why hand the ball to him again? Why not a quarterback sneak? At 6' 2", Cutler isn't a fragile quarterback. Or why not give Chester Taylor the ball? Or Greg Olsen?