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Bears special teams blunder looms large

Of course, we all anticipated that Patrick Mannelly would be the key player in this Bears-Packers rockfight, right?

No?  Well, it’s looking like he might be.

The Bears long snapper just made a fourth-quarter decision that paved the way for the Packers to kick the go-ahead field goal.

Here’s what happened.  On fourth-and-11 from the Chicago 26, Packers linebacker Clay Matthews was sprinting to get off the field to avoid a penalty for too many men on the field.  Mannelly, apparently seeing Matthews sprinting for the sideline, audibled to a direct snap to the short man in punt formation, Garrett Wolfe. 

Trouble was, Matthews made it to the sideline with ease and Wolfe got crushed.  So Chicago gave the ball over inside their 30. And Bears coach Lovie Smith challenged with no chance of getting the play overturned and lost the timeout.

And Mason Crosby eventually banged in the field goal for Green Bay.

In theory, it sorta makes sense. If Matthews was still on the field and the Bears didn’t pick up the first, you just accept the penalty and rekick 5 yards further upfield. If you do pick up the first, you just continue the drive. But (A) Wolfe didn’t seem to process the audible and (B) Matthews was off the field.

As Cris Collinsworth said on the NBC telecast, “Lovie Smith will have some explaining to do.”

We’ll see if Jay Cutler can make this a footnote.

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56 Responses to “Bears special teams blunder looms large”
  1. artieblanksucsbigD says: Sep 13, 2009 11:30 PM

    bears lead 15-13 w 2 mins to go

  2. zangy says: Sep 13, 2009 11:32 PM

    Rodgers has his opportunity to shed the label, lets see it.

  3. purple haze harvin says: Sep 13, 2009 11:37 PM

    I didn’t realize the Bad News Bears played for the NFL!

  4. artieblanksucsbigD says: Sep 13, 2009 11:38 PM

    sorry green bay up w/td

  5. zangy says: Sep 13, 2009 11:46 PM

    TAKE THAT HATERS!!!!!!!!! HAHAHA, GO A ROD

  6. Barmy says: Sep 13, 2009 11:46 PM

    Cutler made it a footnote alright.

  7. darrius_heyward-bey-butterfingers says: Sep 13, 2009 11:47 PM

    Even if his goal is an 11 yd first down snap the f-ing ball and there’s nothing to lose. He waited and gave them something to lose.

  8. Akshun says: Sep 13, 2009 11:48 PM

    and for one game Josh McDaniels looks smarter than people think…

  9. LiveNBreatheFootball says: Sep 13, 2009 11:49 PM

    Oh my. Apparently there is a disease in the Chicago locker room that affects the QBs accuracy. I’ve never seen Cutler so Delhommesque.

  10. Silver&Black666 says: Sep 13, 2009 11:51 PM

    I told you idiots!!!!!
    Jay Cuntler is 2-2 against the Raiders with 8 INT’S
    How can he beat the Packers!!!!!!!!!

  11. Alpheratz says: Sep 13, 2009 11:51 PM

    Generally I like Collinsworth doing games, but blaming the wide receivers for all of Cutler’s interceptions?
    I’ve never seen that.
    People just love to make excuses for this guy.

  12. 56lightsout56 says: Sep 13, 2009 11:53 PM

    Cutler is who we KNEW he was-well at least in one city that is

  13. JNK says: Sep 13, 2009 11:56 PM

    I wonder if the Bears can get Orton back?

  14. FumbleNuts says: Sep 13, 2009 11:56 PM

    We’ll see if Jay Cutler can make this a footnote?
    4 Int’s……… Pathetic!

  15. ZN0rseman says: Sep 13, 2009 11:56 PM

    Just FYI Florio…
    I think it was Wolfe who indicated that there was 12 men on the field for the Packers, and called for the snap. He indicated it late though, and Mannelley just reacted with the quick snap to get the penalty, not knowing that it was too late. So, I don’t think it was all on Mannelley… he was reacting to Wolfe’s signals. You can actually see Wolfe signal it in the replay, Wolfe points to Mathews, motions to Mannelley and then Mannelley points to Wolfe and snaps it to him.

  16. Contra says: Sep 14, 2009 12:00 AM

    Why on earth does the long snapper have the authority to switch the play like that?!?! Unless he did it on his own The Beatd are the only idiot team to give him that autority. In all my years playing the game the only snapper with authority is the center, not some punk dime a dozen long snapper!!!!

  17. nerd says: Sep 14, 2009 12:02 AM

    Cutler got exposed today.
    Unfortunately so did Packers RT Allen Barbre. The Pack will have to address that situation.
    Packers beat the Bears AND the refs today. What’s with NOT calling illegal formation, calling a phantom PI instead? Another case of the officials attempting to alter the outcome of the games.
    Rodgers proves he’s money when it counts. Overcomes about 6 dropped passes while constantly having to run for his life and delivers with the game on the line! Sweeeeet.

  18. VegasBronco says: Sep 14, 2009 12:09 AM

    As usual with the game on the line, turnover.
    Stat line: 17-37 277 yrds 1 TD 4 INTS
    Mr. FRANCHISE QB really showed ESPN Mark Schlereth, Jamie Dukes, and John Clayton how idiotic they now look.
    Ex WR and future ESPN analyst Chris Collinsworth blamed the receivers for all of the int’s. YA RIGHT!
    Footnote, where, why? OH YEAH footnote

  19. Kircus Made My Sub says: Sep 14, 2009 12:12 AM

    What a great opening night game though.

  20. SmackMyVickUp says: Sep 14, 2009 12:18 AM

    Generally I like Collinsworth doing games, but blaming the wide receivers for all of Cutler’s interceptions?
    ————–
    Last int Know fell backwards, defender stepped in front of him. Clark TE gave up running his route on another. Both Cutler and receivers share the blame.
    Cutler did look to his Vandy buddy too much.
    Forte and Olsen the top 2 receivers from last year were not involved enough.

  21. jusford says: Sep 14, 2009 12:21 AM

    Dumb move and it doesn’t make sense. Even if the Bears got 5 more yards they’d still have to kick. The penalty wouldn’t have been enough to get a first. Guess that’s why “the Bears still suck, the Bears still suck, the Bears sti…”

  22. GreenAndGold says: Sep 14, 2009 12:23 AM

    Good game that was validated despite the horrible penalty against Al Harris. ARod haters can back the f off now that he WON a 4th quarter game.

  23. strangerdon says: Sep 14, 2009 12:43 AM

    Something else that was looming large, and not just a little weird, were Tony Dungee’s eyes. I like and respect Tony Dungee, but his eyes and his smile were like something out of Arham Asylum – I was waiting for Batman to swoop in any moment.
    As long as we are on the subject – whoever decided it was a good idea to isolate Dungee and Harrison for closing commentary on the week should be demoted to making coffee (under close supervision) – Pinnocchio would have had a less wooden approach. Honestly, both looked like wide-eyed rookies (Tony’s eyes being extra wide) and would have benefitted from interaction from an experienced commentator who put them in more of an interview situation rather than asking them to carry on a conversation with each other (an experienced commentator other than that aspiring comedian Bob Costas).

  24. packman says: Sep 14, 2009 12:48 AM

    With the improved D, the Pack is going to be a force this year, as long as Barbre can learn how to make a block and no just get run over play after play…

  25. JP says: Sep 14, 2009 12:48 AM

    “Good game” tonight, only in the sense of, “entertaining game.” In reality both teams looked bad, real bad, especially on offense. Bears hit two big pass plays (the TD to Hester and the long bomb to that rookie earlier) and the Packers of course hit that long TD pass at the end. But other than that, both offenses looked pretty anemic.
    As a Bears fan, I have some serious worries about Cutler trying to do to much (read: turnovers) and about our WR’s who have big play potential but lack an incredible amount of polish and professionalism on an every-play basis. Also big worries about the O-line in both pass and run blocking.
    If I were a Packers fan (and in other news: HELL FREEZES OVER!), I would have some concerns about my WR’s having way too many drops. Would also have concerns about Rodgers’ ability to perform under pressure (not game pressure but defensive pressure, i.e. pass rush). The decision to run backwards into his own endzone and take a safety was inexcusable. And in general he looked very much out of rhythm when he had a pass rush in his face. And as others have pointed out, the RT was getting destroyed all night long, addressing that would have to be a high priority.

  26. Splash Gordon says: Sep 14, 2009 12:56 AM

    zebras had a good laugh!
    http://kissingsuzykolber.uproxx.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/ref-lol.gif

  27. MkePackFan says: Sep 14, 2009 12:59 AM

    Maybe Collinsworth can stop blaming Cutler’s WRs and maybe blame Cutler’s atrocious hair cut.
    Jay, you have millions of dollars…no need to put a bowl on your head to determine where you should start cutting below.

  28. jorge says: Sep 14, 2009 1:24 AM

    A-Rod won this game in spite of his receivers dropping passes and the turnstile that is Allen Barbre! Whats gonna happen when they make the necessary catches and trade for a tackle? Its called: prolific offense suckas!!!

  29. steeltuff says: Sep 14, 2009 1:36 AM

    Now I’m wondering if the loss of Polamalu will hurt the Steelers at all in Chicago next Sunday?

  30. Mimi Taro says: Sep 14, 2009 1:45 AM

    Jusford they were trying to get the eleven yards in hopes they could decline the penalty, knowing that if they failed they could accept the penalty anyway.

  31. Tr3pidation says: Sep 14, 2009 3:07 AM

    So WTF, if he saw someone running off the field, why not just snap the ball, what’d he have to audible for? If they had too many men on the field it would’ve been the same penalty regardless of the play, no?
    I wonder if Jeremy Shockey will tweet about this.

  32. Great Smoky says: Sep 14, 2009 3:09 AM

    Its unfair to expect Aaron Rodgers to play like Bart Starr or Brett Favre. He is only now moving into Lynn Dickey’s and Don Majkowski’s neighborhood.
    Ditto for Cutler. I have been a fan of his since he was at Vandy, but let’s not anoint him as the next coming of Sid Luckman or Jim McMahon.
    Right, Mr. Florio? Mr. Florio?

  33. KevinFaulk-an-a says: Sep 14, 2009 7:53 AM

    Does Cutler have the Benjamin Button thing going on? I used to think that he looked like he was 12 years old. Last night he looked, (and played), like he was 8 years old.
    The officials were terrible, the bears offense was even worse. What self-destruction!
    The fake punt was just the icing on the cake.
    Neither team deserved that one.

  34. Bob S. says: Sep 14, 2009 7:54 AM

    Why did Packers go for 2 point conversion with a 4 point lead that already was more than a FG and would only be 6 points if good with Bears having no timeouts and less than a minute left in game? To beat the 5 point spread? And you think football is completely on the level?

  35. KevinFaulk-an-a says: Sep 14, 2009 7:54 AM

    Does Cutler have the Benjamin Button thing going on? I used to think that he looked like he was 12 years old. Last night he looked, (and played), like he was 8 years old.
    The officials were terrible, the bears offense was even worse. What self-destruction!
    The fake punt was just the icing on the cake.
    Neither team deserved that one.

  36. Kevin from Philly says: Sep 14, 2009 7:57 AM

    I’m not one for conspiracy theories, but the refs didn’t look good in this one. First the phantom contact penalty. Then the looong review of the two point conversion (which put the Packers over the pointspread). Seemed a little odd.

  37. Bigbluefan says: Sep 14, 2009 7:57 AM

    Hey Jay welcome the NFC and not the NFC west but the real NFC lucky for you that you dont play the east this year

  38. pbuck says: Sep 14, 2009 8:05 AM

    Bob S. – we will all give you an opportunity to think that one over one more time.

  39. Fan_Of_ Four says: Sep 14, 2009 8:21 AM

    The Packers best QB was Cutler.

  40. kravon says: Sep 14, 2009 9:05 AM

    Next up for Mr Cutler – Pittsburgh.
    If it wasnt for Jake Delhomme, I am sure Cutler will be leading the NFL in interceptions after next week.

  41. drsbaitso says: Sep 14, 2009 9:08 AM

    The reason they went for 2 was to make it 6 points, so if Chicago scored a TD, you could maybe block the extra point to make it to OT.

  42. Flyingelvislogosucksbringbackpatpatriot says: Sep 14, 2009 9:28 AM

    A little explanation for the conspiracy theorists. You go for 2 and your up six, the other team needs to score a touchdown AND an extra point to win. Granted the odds of missing an extra are pretty slim but it happens. So tell me what sense does it make to kick the extra point and be up 5?

  43. pfinfl says: Sep 14, 2009 9:37 AM

    I thought Cutler looked like he hasn’t been in the weight room for at least a year. Compare him to Matt Ryan who looks like he spent the year in a weight room.

  44. Fast Richie says: Sep 14, 2009 9:47 AM

    I don’t know if anyone else noticed, but I’m convinced that the Packers knew it was going to be a fake punt.
    Watch the replay. Right before the snap, I’d swear I heard a Packer shout out “25″ (Garrett Wolfe’s uniform #) and point towards the middle of the Bear’s formation.
    And the Packer defenders didn’t even seem to be rushing the punter, but rather they seemed to be defending against the fake punt.
    Then again, maybe I’m wrong, because Cris Collinsworth didn’t seem to notice it and he apparently knows everything!!!

  45. jimicos says: Sep 14, 2009 10:07 AM

    jusford says:
    September 14, 2009 12:21 AM
    Dumb move and it doesn’t make sense. Even if the Bears got 5 more yards they’d still have to kick. The penalty wouldn’t have been enough to get a first. Guess that’s why “the Bears still suck, the Bears still suck, the Bears sti…”
    ——————————–
    It’s still a free play to take a shot at picking up the 1st down. If they gain 11 yards, great. 1st down and the drive continues. If they don’t pick it up, then they accept the penalty (assuming it’s called) and punt it. It’s a smart move..
    WHEN YOU ACTUALLY CATCH THE GUY ON THE FIELD.

  46. RagnartheViking says: Sep 14, 2009 10:40 AM

    The only good thing about the Packers winning is we won’t have to listen to Dewey Axewound for awhile.
    Packman: What game were you watching?
    The Packers gave up 352 yards of offense, they didn’t look much better than last year.
    The defense looked good because Cutler threw the ball up for grabs.
    I feel bad for most bear fans, they are staring at 0-2 with Pittsburgh coming up next.

  47. GreatGallopingGhosts says: Sep 14, 2009 11:44 AM

    OK, some perspective:
    1) Cutler should neve let an opponent get in his head like he did with Green Bay. He was playing scared the entire first half and it showed.
    2) The Bears offensive line was a sieve. You can’t get an offense rolling if they can pressure you at will.
    3) Green Bay didn’t have to work for any of those interceptions, they looked as if the the Green Bay player was the intended receiver.
    4) Cutler should have spent more time with all his offensive weapons during the pre-season. Passroutes were sloppy.
    When Cutler did regain his composure during the second half he was able to make some progress against Green Bay. He holds promise. But Green Bay has nothing to brag about. The score should have been more lopsided considering the four gifts they received.
    I agree with everyone who said the game was sloppy. Unfortunately the Bears defense is now mostly injured reserve. Season is off to a bad start.

  48. Beer Cheese Soup says: Sep 14, 2009 1:36 PM

    Well, there goes my prediction of the Bears taking the division.. and it may be a while before we see Dewey again.
    Yes, it was a sloppy game, (Barbre) but not as sloppy as the Philly two muffed punt game in 07 that started our 13-3 run. Hopefully we can do something similar.
    To the Viking hypocrites that called us all out for blaming the refs last year, yet said this game was “A gift”: A win is a win, by your own rationale. 1-0 is 1-0, and it’s as good as the best of the league right now. If/when you beat us, go ahead and talk.
    To all the Bear fans: See you this time next year!

  49. footballrulz says: Sep 14, 2009 1:38 PM

    Absolutely the game was sloppy. Barbre was a freakin turnstile who got used all day. Timing was way off between Rodgers and his receivers. Driver dropped balls (Holy Crap Batman). Running game barely exited until Bears lost their LB’s. Officiating was god awful horrible. Thank God Cutler was terrible.
    Bottom line though–Pack’s 1-0. Next week Ochocinco

  50. RagnartheViking says: Sep 14, 2009 1:53 PM

    1PM central time and still no Dewey……..
    Somehow, I knew this would be the case.

  51. SoCalSean says: Sep 14, 2009 2:22 PM

    Yeah.. The Packers looked great! Ha! Funniest thing I’ve heard in awhile. Even though Cutler was absolutely horrible, the Bears still had a shot…….somehow? Another 4-12 season for the Pack, but somehow Rodgers will still be called good..strange

  52. jimicos says: Sep 14, 2009 3:25 PM

    SoCalSean says:
    September 14, 2009 2:22 PM
    Yeah.. The Packers looked great! Ha! Funniest thing I’ve heard in awhile. Even though Cutler was absolutely horrible, the Bears still had a shot…….somehow? Another 4-12 season for the Pack, but somehow Rodgers will still be called good..strange
    ——————————
    Rodgers was good. Not great, but good. He was under pressure nearly the entire game, had his receivers drop several passes and a mostly ineffective running game to support him. He missed on a couple of deep balls, but pulled through in the clutch.
    As for the 4-12 prediction… Time will tell.

  53. TheBaySay says: Sep 14, 2009 4:11 PM

    Just my 2 coppers’ worth, but if officials can wave off a flag for pass interferance when a ball is ruled uncatchable, I think they should wave off a penalty like that (if it had been called) when it obviously would have no bearing on the play. When a guy is just racing to get off the field, it’s incredibly cheap to get penalized for it – imho.
    In other news: Hi, Mark Tauscher, this is Ted Thompson calling. I’ve been meaning to get in touch for a long time; you know how crazy things can get. So anyway, how’s the leg feeling these days?

  54. JimmySmith says: Sep 14, 2009 4:30 PM

    Fan_Of_ Four says:
    The Packers best QB was Cutler.
    and favre’s nut juice is still running off the end of your chin. All the bitching about Rodgers not pulling out a 4th Qtr victory, then maybe last nights would get you would shut you up forever but your comments just go to show that there is nothing that will please you.
    your beloved INT machine just looked old, sort of like last season and the season before and that is why the Packers just moved on, hopefully you will someday also.

  55. zangy says: Sep 14, 2009 7:35 PM

    @Great Galloping
    The defense didn’t have to work for those ints? That is maybe one of the stupidest things I’ve ever read on here, and that is saying something. Cutler threw those balls into bad situations because he was scared sh*tless about who was going to hit him. What about Jolly’s pick? I think a 330lb d lineman diving for and one handing an interception is a good display of “work”. Where was your superstar running back? Oh yea, getting smacked in the jaw every time he touted the ball. Make all the excuses you want, GB 1-0, Chi 0-1. And one more thing, if Crosby hadn’t missed his first field goal attempt then Rodgers wouldn’t have had to burn your secondary to win the game.

  56. RagnartheViking says: Sep 15, 2009 8:46 AM

    4 turnovers, win by 6 = Dominance?
    Only in wisconsin.

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