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Why didn't Bears kick chip-shot field goal?

Posted Nov 26, 2013

Larry discusses why the Bears didn't kick a field goal against the Rams, why they sat on the ball late in the first half and if Devin Hester will get any snaps on defense.

Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of email questions from fans on ChicagoBears.com.

Why didn't Marc Trestman take the easy field goal on the Bears' opening drive of the second half against the Rams? They trailed by 10 points and could have made it a one-score game.

Ross H.
Elgin, Illinois

I think the simple answer is that the way the game was going, coach Marc Trestman knew the Bears would need as many points as they could possibly score to win. For those who don't know, you're referring to when the Bears trailed the Rams 24-14 and faced fourth-and-goal at the 1 early in the third quarter. Instead of kicking a field goal, the offense remained on the field and Michael Bush was dropped for a four-yard loss. Here's how Trestman explained the decision after the game: "This was a little bit of a track meet out there and I know that three points seemed like a lot, but I'm very confident that was the right thing to do in the long run. We were hoping that if we didn't make it, our defense would make a stop and we'd be in three-point range again. But we had to play for points today because of the nature of the game and the pace of the game. It was frantic out there." As far as I'm concerned, it seems logical to kick a field goal in that situation to make it a one-score game, but the way the Rams were marching up and down the field against the Bears defense, you can certainly understand why Trestman felt the need to score a touchdown from the 1.  

Marc Trestman has been an aggressive play-caller throughout the season, especially when it comes to trying to pick up first downs on fourth-and-short rather than punting or attempting a field goal. With that in mind, I was surprised he sat on the ball late in the first half against the Rams. The Bears were down by 10 points and had moved the ball through the air pretty well. What gives?

Adam S.
Markham, Illinois

The situation you're referring to came when the Bears took over at their own 20 with 1:11 left in the first half. They had no timeouts remaining and tried to run out the clock with two running plays. But the Rams called a timeout and got the ball back with :16 left, though they ultimately didn't score. Trestman explained that the Bears' No. 1 priority was to "avoid a punt as much as anything to give them an extra opportunity to make a play." He also said that if the Bears weren't going to get the ball to start the second half "I would have thought about it a little bit differently."

I heard that Devin Hester was spending time with the Bears secondary coaching staff. Will we see him line up on defense sometime in the near future?

Kyle C.

No, Devin Hester is not going to play on defense. What happened was that Hester participated in some individual drills with the defensive backs last week in practice. It's something he does periodically either to stay loose or maybe just because he's bored. But it happened during the period in practice that's open to the media and some reporters took what they saw to mean that Hester was suddenly joining the defense. But again, that's not happening.

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