Well then. That just happened.
I’m going to straight up ignore the first 57 minutes of this game. I’m going to ignore the downright pathetic roughing the passer call on Eddie Goldman. I’m going to ignore the Bears taking seven plays to punch the ball in from one yard out. I’m going to ignore the fact that Denver’s first field goal was from exactly 43 yards out.
The last three minutes of that game, and quite frankly the last minute, was the dumbest stretch of football ever. That game was so drunk that even the stupidest bartender would have cut it off by now. However, the Bears prevailed.
The Broncos almost tied the game with 4:45 left, but a horrible overthrow by Joe Flacco fell into the awaiting arms of Kyle Fuller with Denver at Chicago’s two.
For what it’s worth, Flacco actually looked a lot better than I expected him to today. Sure, he didn’t do anything amazing or anything that will land on highlight reels a decade down the line, but he did his job. It was obvious that Rich Scangarello and the Broncos were going to try and wear the Bears defense down with quick passes, and Flacco did his job perfectly. He was only sacked twice, and once was when he had already escaped the pocket and only took a one-yard loss.
First things first, knowing a first down virtually wins you the game, Matt Nagy (cowardly, as has been his MO since the playoff game) decides to call for two passes short of the sticks. Both fail, as is to be expected. The Bears punt.
Flacco drove down the field, and his drive ended in a brilliant pitch and catch in the back corner of the end zone by Emmanuel Sanders. Touchdown, Broncos. They cut the deficit to 13-12 with 31 seconds remaining.
Vic Fangio (rightfully so) decided to go for two to give Denver the lead. However, delay of game was called. Joe Flacco has made plenty of bad decisions and boneheaded plays during his career, but this is right up there. You absolutely can not even come close to taking a delay of game penalty on a two-point conversion. Luckily for the Broncos, however, you can just play it conservative, kick the PAT, and send it to overtime.
However, Brandon McManus missed it. Pushed it wide right. But Buster Skrine was offsides. So none of that mattered. The Bears gave the Broncos got a third shot to beat them, this time from the one-yard line.
The NFL is going to need to explain the officiating in this given scenario, but something went wrong. Dean Blandino, on the FOX broadcast, tried explaining as the Bears accepting the delay of game on the PAT and not the Two-Point Conversion, but if this was true, then why didn’t Fangio just go for two again? There’s no way that’s how the rule works.
The referees messed this up. It didn’t end up mattering, but taking a two-point conversion from the one, as opposed to the two, as opposed to the three and a half is a big difference. There’s no acceptable reason for the ball to have been placed at the one-yard line for that two-point conversion attempt.
Needless to say, they converted it. Would they have from the two? Probably. The three and a half? Maybe. But they converted it from the one. And it gave Denver the lead with 31 seconds to go.
Then, on first down, Mitchell Trubisky fired a five-yard pass to Tarik Cohen. Bradley Chubb got called for what is, quite frankly, the worst roughing the passer call in the history of the National Football League. If this is a penalty now, we should cancel the league, and I’m not joking about that.
— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) September 15, 2019
If this doesn’t happen, the Bears don’t win the football game. So an official’s incompetence, and that’s the only word for the pathetic excuse of officiating we saw today, gifted the Bears a victory. There’s no reason to talk around that, that’s just a fact.
— Bryan Perez 🎃 (@BryanPerezNFL) September 16, 2019
The Bears capitalized on this miscue though. A 25-yard pass from Trubisky to Allen Robinson, one in which the quarterback made a fantastic play, set Eddy Piniero up for a 53-yard field goal. And with the ghost of Cody Parkey left back in Chicago, he nailed it. The Bears somehow won.
Bears fans REJOICE!!!!!! Eddy Piniero!!! pic.twitter.com/mDSe3udEUr
— Bobby Skinner (@BobbySkinner_) September 15, 2019
The Broncos are the first team since the introduction of the two-point conversion to convert one with under a minute, to give them the lead, and then not win the football game (via ESPN). There has never been an ending to any football game quite like this.
That being said? The Bears still need to get better. Matt Nagy had his third consecutive bad coaching appearance. Mitchell Trubisky, outside of the one play, had another bad game. Kyle Fuller (and the rest of the secondary) wasn’t great. The offensive line left a ton to be desired.
Once again, though, the kicking wasn’t an issue. Odd how that happens.