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Lovie Admits He Blew the Challenge

Mike Burzawa

Die hard Bears fan and lead blogger at Bear Goggles On


It sure looks like the ball crossed the plane, doesn't it? (Photo courtesy of CBS Sports)

In a rare moment of humility and honesty during Monday's press conference, Bears head coach Lovie Smith admitted that he blew it by not challenging the Jay Cutler fumble at the goal line that should have been a touchdown.  Let's hear the mea culpa straight from the horse's mouth:

"You guys want to know about that on whether I should have thrown the red flag on the 1-yard fumble down by the end zone. Yes, I should have, looking at it of course in hindsight," Smith said. "Normally if there is a critical situation, I throw it whether I have a good look or not on it. Didn't have a great look on it. I understand the reason why, but that was a critical play in the game.

"I need to be able to make that call."

And a bit more as to why he didn't throw the little red flag:

"I had just used one up before that, and at the time I thought we were in control of the game," Smith said. "We've given the opponent the ball on the 1-yard line before and forced them to punt it, and I felt like we would get the ball back right away, which we did, and we would be able to get it back down."

Smith said he has staffers upstairs, with access to replays. Smith added that he didn't think of calling a timeout to buy himself more time to see Cutler's play again.

"Exactly what happened is what I thought about doing," Smith said. "I felt like we would get the ball back at the very worst and have another opportunity to get it in."

That's about a forthcoming as you'll ever hear from Lovie.  Here's what I want to know - who is responsible for making that call in the booth?  I want Lovie to name names.  I want that guy fired.  I want blood!

Lovie Smith's record on challenges since 2008 is just 7 out of 25 challenges.  That's just giving roughly 1 time out away every other game over the last 2 seasons.  In the type of bend-don't-break, keep it close kind of games that Lovie wants to play, you cannot afford to give anything away.

National pundits have been piling on Lovie's missed challenge.  The National Football Post thinks Lovie dropped the ball.  CBS Sports says Lovie knows he messed up.

Fox Sports' officiating guru Mike Pereira thinks Lovie totally blew it too:

<a href="" target="_new" title="Online OT: Pereira's Week 7 Calls">Video: Online OT: Pereira's Week 7 Calls</a>

Even some amateur pundits give it a whirl. My favorite?  Peter King names Lovie his Goat of the Week:

Goat of the Week

Lovie Smith, coach, Chicago

On the play after failing to get an Earl Bennett catch and run down at the one-yard-line reversed (Smith challenged, claiming it was a touchdown), Smith didn't challenge what appeared almost certainly was a quarterback sneak for a touchdown. It was one of those plays where the quarterback -- Cutler -- jumped and extended the ball over the plane of the goal line before being pushed back by Albert Haynesworth; then the ball was knocked loose by London Fletcher and recovered by Washington. If Smith challenged the call, that's seven points (in a game that ended 17-13) he could have gained if correct; instead the Bears got nothing. Figures that Smith is one-for-five on challenges this year. This was a badly blown non-challenge.

Does King have an award for Goat of the Year?  How about Goat since Super Bowl XLI!




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1 Comment

jack lacan said:


From what I read it looks like the FIRE LOVIE SMITH NATION has grown somewhat. Ranks have swelled as they say.

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