John Fox: Every indication we had was Benny Cunningham scored

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Bears coach John Fox won a challenge he wished he would have lost in Sunday afternoon’s 23-16 loss to the Packers.

Fox challenged that running back Benny Cunningham was not out of bounds at the 2-yard-line with just over eight minutes left in the first half because he thought Cunningham had scored. After consulting with New York, referee Tony Corrente announced that Cunningham had actually lost control of the ball before hitting the pylon and the fumble went out of the end zone to give the Packers the ball on a touchback.

“Looking at the review, he did not step out of bounds and started lunging toward the goal line,” Corrente said via a pool report distributed by the Bears. “As he was lunging toward the goal line, he lost the ball in his right hand first, probably, I’m going to guess, 2 feet maybe short of the pylon. As he got even closer, the left hand came off. We had to put together two different angles in order to see both hands losing the football. After he lost it the second time, it went right into the pylon. Which creates a touchback.”

Fox said after the game that “every indication we had was that he scored” and that Cunningham losing the ball never crossed anyone’s mind.

“Maybe you can see [Cunningham fumble] after looking at it 50 times, like some people are able to do,” Fox said, via the Chicago Sun-Times. “But during out look, during the game, that wasn’t even discussed.”

Cunningham was one of those people who could see the fumble as he said after the game that he thought the refs made the correct call and plenty of people would argue that Fox would have been better off taking a first down off the original call than risking a timeout for two yards at that point in the game.

35 responses to “John Fox: Every indication we had was Benny Cunningham scored

  1. Just the Bears doing more Bears things. We all know an ownership change will never happen but can we at least get some competent coaches? I’m not real confident their GM has the stuff to pick a good replacement though, either.

  2. Either Fox hasn’t seen the replay or he’s blind, because that ball very obviously wasn’t in the RB’s possession when it hit the pylon.

  3. As far as I know, Fox, the head coach, is responsible for those telling him to issue a challenge. If that’s the case, then it’s on him if his minions are idiots. Fox is great if you want to to play conservative, hand in there, and maybe eek out a W at the end. I personally want a coach who will out scheme, out think, and attempt to step on the throat of Bear’s opponents. Get rid of this clown.

  4. this is a silly rule and needs to be changed. you fumble and the ball goes out at the 1 and you get the ball at the 1. you fumble and the ball goes out after in the end zone and it is the other teams ball? why would there be a possession change when the defense didn’t recover? 1 yard difference gives the other team the ball?

  5. wttoolman says:
    November 12, 2017 at 6:36 pm
    The worst/dumbest rule in sports.

    kpf1981 says:
    November 12, 2017 at 6:36 pm
    this is a silly rule and needs to be changed. you fumble and the ball goes out at the 1 and you get the ball at the 1. you fumble and the ball goes out after in the end zone and it is the other teams ball?
    __________________________________________________

    If you fumble the ball out of the end zone you deserve worse than just surrendering it as a touchback.

  6. I am more upset with game plan than this ridiculous call.this was their best chance to beat the packers and he blew it with another horrible game plan. the only team in the NFL and sports that if a play works he refuse to use it again, every team but the bears will keep using it until you stop it. sheehan catches 2 passes for 39 yards in first half and you do not use him again? you wait until they get behind then expect them to not know you are going to pass? howard is a beast but there are limits to what he can do with 9 men in a box every play.

  7. This speaks volumes of our head coach, Mike McCarthy. Had John Fox not challenged this call, they would have walked into the end zone on a subsequent play and we likely would have lost. McCarthy should have challenged but as usual he was completely lost.

  8. gbbvan says:

    So why didn’t the bears lose a time out over that challenge?
    Fox claimed it was a TD and it wasn’t.

    Negative. Fox claimed that the officials got the call wrong on the field and he was right.

  9. kpf1981 says:
    November 12, 2017 at 6:36 pm
    this is a silly rule and needs to be changed. you fumble and the ball goes out at the 1 and you get the ball at the 1. you fumble and the ball goes out after in the end zone and it is the other teams ball? why would there be a possession change when the defense didn’t recover? 1 yard difference gives the other team the ball? ——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————– or they could just not fumble…

  10. This play has happened 30 times since I started watching football in 1973.
    This is not the first goal line fumble to be a touch back; this even happened in SB V.
    When trying to score a touchdown, diving and extending the ball has its risks.
    Please stop the whining about the rule; it’s a rule and protect the ball at the goal line.
    Every rule for 20 years waters down defense and increases scoring, so just stop with the touchback isn’t fair cry.

  11. I am a long suffering Bear fan…..the team had plenty of time to overcome this call, the better team beat them today!!!! Go out and beat the Lions next week or are sucking for a top ten draft pick???

  12. Carl Gerbschmidt says:
    November 12, 2017 at 6:23 pm
    I commend Coach Fox for wanting to get the call right. It’s called integrity, it would be nice if other players and coaches from NFC North teams had some.
    —-
    Starting with the Packers team doctor and training staff. Lets take a look…

  13. @contra

    Did you see Bennett playing tonight in Denver? Of course, I shouldn’t be surprised that you’d buy into bennett’s lies, after all you are a Vike fan. #delusuonal #nochampionships

  14. contra74 says:
    November 12, 2017 at 9:09 pm

    Starting with the Packers team doctor and training staff. Lets take a look…

    _____________________________________________________

    Take a look at what exactly? How the team doctor allegedly told Bennett to play through his injury? His injury that he is currently playing through for the Patriots right now. Clearly it isn’t severe enough to keep him from playing, so if the doctor said what is alleged there would be nothing wrong it.

  15. bonesawisready says:
    November 12, 2017 at 9:27 pm
    contra74 says:
    November 12, 2017 at 9:09 pm

    Starting with the Packers team doctor and training staff. Lets take a look…

    _____________________________________________________

    Take a look at what exactly? How the team doctor allegedly told Bennett to play through his injury? His injury that he is currently playing through for the Patriots right now. Clearly it isn’t severe enough to keep him from playing, so if the doctor said what is alleged there would be nothing wrong it.
    ———-
    Why do the Packers lead the league in injuries year after year?

    Why is there a team doctor telling players to play when they are injured?

    Are the two related?

  16. The law of unintended consequences. Anyway, so why did this topic move from Coach Fox to the Packers and Marty Bennett?

  17. harry hands says:
    November 12, 2017 at 7:58 pm
    He was out of bounds. Before the ball came out. Terrible call.
    No matter though, the Vikings won.

    WOW, you must of had a camera view that nobody else did! The various angles of the TV cameras clearly proved his feet never went out of bounds until after he had lost his grip on the ball. Just the fact that he was air borne over the side line markers does not mean a thing until he lands.

  18. He went air born, then as the defender continued pushing Cunningham’s foot hit white before ball hit pylon. The question was did he have possession of ball when toes contacted white? I had a hard time determining that he did or didn’t have control at that point, thus confused as to how NY did. I would have ruled the play dead a foot from line, could never assume that pylon should have been a factor as original ruling was out of bounds with control of ball.

  19. Probably the worst case of bad luck and intended consequences that I have ever seen. Fox should have saved his challenged and the Bears would have scored on the next play but instead, its Green Bay’s ball with the lead. That was the turning point in the game.

  20. Rule 3. Section 21. Article 3. Item 2. Loose Ball. A loose ball is out of bounds when it touches a boundary line or anything that is on or outside such line, including a player, an official, or a pylon.

    The player was clearly in contact with the ball with his knee out of bounds.

    Once again, the Packers are gifted a game by the NFL.

  21. “The question was did he have possession of ball when toes contacted white?”

    That question is irrelevant. Contact with the ball is sufficient to establish that the ball is out of bounds and the play is dead.

  22. He challenged the play way too early. They were on offense, they had plenty of time to look at the play from multiple different angles before they challenged it.

    Instead, Fox almost immediately challenged the play before anyone had enough time to look at the play closely. And he got exactly what he deserved because of it.

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